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How Is Pulmonary Hypertension Treated?

By EmpowHER
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Dr. Skloven describes how a physician cares for a patient with pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Skloven holds board certifications in Interventional Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine and practices medicine at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.

Dr. Skloven:
Once the diagnosis is made the next decision is what drug to start with. That will depend partly on how the patient responded in a procedure called a heart catheterization to a number of drugs that might be given during that procedure.

When I started practicing in the 1970s we only had a few means of treatment. Oxygen supplementation on a permanent basis, 24 hours, 7 days-a-week was utilized.

A new class of drugs became available in the 1970s called calcium channel blockers and they were found to be capable of dilating or relaxing the arteries in the lungs and calcium channel blockers became the mainstay of treatment.

Unfortunately, the number of patients, the percentage of patients that responded to this class of drugs was pretty low, and the outlook with somebody with significant pulmonary hypertension was perhaps a year or two of life and not good quality of life.

Over the past 30 years through research, through incredible technical advancements, a number of new drugs have become available which are much more effective and the outlook for somebody now with pulmonary hypertension is much better in terms of longevity and in terms of quality of life.

The drugs that are used now are often used in a, what we call a serial fashion. We will start on one particular drug. Perhaps the easiest drug to use could be inhaled periodically throughout the day, and as long as that drug remains effective that is what we would probably continue using.

At some point that drug may become less effective as the disease progresses and now we would go to more complex forms of treatment with some of the newer drugs that have to be given continuously intravenously.

This is also an area where the Genome project and our rapidly expanding understanding of the genetics of this disease are allowing us to develop new drugs specifically at the genes that are causing this disease.

About Dr. Z. David Skloven, M.D.:
Dr. Skloven is an Interventional Cardiologist at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Ariz. After graduating from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Chemistry. Dr. Skloven attended medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, graduating Cum Laude . He did both his internship and first year residency at Cornell University Hospitals in New York City. His second year residency was at the University of California in San Francisco. Dr. Skloven was a Cardiology Fellow under Dr. Eugene Braunwald from 1970 to 1972 in San Diego, California and then spent a year as Director of the La Jolla V.A. Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

Conditions: Pulmonary Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, Blod Clots, Heart Failure, Valvular Heart Disease

Related Terms: Pulmonary Embolism, Blood Vessel Abnormality, Sjogren's Syndrome, Connective Tissue Disease, Emphysema, COPD, Bronchitis, Leaky Mitral Valve, Echocardiogram, Heart Catheterization, Fen-Phen

Expert: Dr. Z. David Skloven, David Skloven, M.D., Doctor Z David Skloven, Heart Expert Dr. Skloven, Women's Heart Health Specialist Z. David Skloven, M.D.

Expertise: Heart Disease Disease, Heart Disease Risks, Heart Disease Management, Heart Disease Prevention, Blood Pressure Testing, Coronary Artery Disease, Interventional Cardiology, Increased Blood Pressure

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