Vanderbilt's Pulmonary Hypertension Team Welcomes you!

Vanderbilt has been nationally recognized as a Center of Comprehensive Care (CCC) by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association

Over the past few years, the Scientific Leadership Council of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) has been actively developing an accreditation initiative for PH treating programs across the nation in order to improve the overall quality of care and outcomes of patients with PAH. In this effort, the PH Care Center Program was developed by the PHA to identify the PH programs with the infrastructure and experience to best manage the disease as reflected in the PHCC mission statement:

“to [establish] a program of accredited centers with expertise in pulmonary hypertension that aspires to improve overall quality of care and ultimately improve outcomes of patients with pulmonary hypertension, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare and life-threatening group of diseases.”

Vanderbilt has been accredited from February 1, 2016 - January 31, 2019.


What is Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension? 

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is high blood pressure (hypertension) within the lung (pulmonary) arterial circulation.  It is a disease that results in constriction and blockage of the very smallest arteries (blood vessels) throughout the lungs. The blood vessels that are affected are about the size of a human hair. While small on an individual basis, in the normal condition there is such an enormous number of these vessels that in total they manage nearly all of the blood that travels through the lungs.  These small vessels are thus very important because nearly all of the blood in the circulation must pass through them. As these blood vessels become blocked, the pressure in the pulmonary arterial circulation increases which puts a strain on the right side of the heart.  Ultimately, the pressure may increase to a point that blood cannot flow normally through the lungs. When this happens, in addition to putting a strain on the right side of the heart, blood flow to the rest of the body is inadequate.