Multiprofessional and Intrahospital Experience for Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
AbstractBackground. Referral centres for pulmonary hypertension will provide care by a multiprofessional team, which should as a minimum comprise: consultant physicians with a special interest in PH, clinical nurse specialist, radiologist, cardiologist with expertise in echocardiography. Aims. this study sought to determine whether the experience of the establishment of a clinic for pulmonary arterial hypertension, initially created only for the treatment and diagnosis of heart failure, may be considered positive. Methods. From 1 July 2008 to January 1, 2012 we evaluated 80 patients in our ambulatory dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of PAH. All patients were performed to clinical evaluation, ECG, and echocardiography with estimation of the sPAP. Then we evaluated the functional capacity through cardiopulmonary exercise testing or six minute walking test (6MWT). RHC was required to confirm the diagnosis of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Results. 80 patients (mean age: 50.9 Â± 18.68 years, 31 males) were evaluated in our center; the largest groups subjected to screening were thalassemia (21 subjects), rheumatologic patients (18 patients), respirators, suspected of â€œoutof Proportionâ€ (12 patients) and 4 patients with OSAS. 8 adult congenital heart patients. A diagnosis of PAH after right heart catheterization was possible in 25 cases. In particular, among patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, 8 had a rheumatic etiology (systemic sclerosis), 2 postthromboembolic disease, 5 patients had congenital heart disease, 1 patient with HIV infection, 1 patient with thalassemia major, 1 chronic lymphocytic leukemia and 1 with myelodysplasia. Conclusions. The initial experience of our center and network within our hospital may be considered positive, because it permitted to patients easy access to hospital services, to undertake a comprehensive prognostic stratification and to recognize the early signs of worsening in subsequent tests.
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