The National Institutes of Health, through the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, has awarded the University of Colorado Denver, a $700,000, 5-year grant to research ways to improve the diagnosis and prognosis of pulmonary arterial hypertension in children and adults.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a fatal disease in children and adults. High pressure in the lungs forces the heart to work harder to move blood through the lungs, ultimately leading to heart failure and death. While it is easy to diagnose high blood pressure in the body, diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension is difficult without invasive surgery.

Kendall Hunter, PhD, lead researcher and associate professor at the university, plans to combine noninvasive ultrasound measurements with invasive heart catheterization to discover better ways to diagnose and accurately predict progression of the disease. He intends to focus on the large pulmonary vessels, just outside the lungs, and measure the stiffness of the main pulmonary artery.

Source: University of Colorado Denver