Medically Led Sessions
The Medically Led Sessions are concurrent educational sessions for patients and family members presented by panels of expert medical professionals. All sessions will provide the opportunity for open interaction and discussion. These sessions will take place throughout the day on Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22.
All topics and meeting groups are subject to change.
General PH Information
Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Blood Disorders and Liver Disease in the Setting of PH
This session will focus on the various forms of congenital heart disease, blood disorders and liver disease in the setting of pulmonary hypertension. Diagnostic and therapeutic methods will be discussed.
Basics of PH and Early PAH
This session will explain heart and lung function and what happens to these systems in pulmonary hypertension patients. The panel will discuss how different screening and tests help guide therapy at varying stages of the disease. This general overview of the disease will provide you with the educational foundation you will need to get the most out of other sessions.
Connective Tissue Disease and PAH
The panel will review the characteristics of connective tissue disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension, focusing on the multiple ways connective tissue disease causes PH and the impact on other organs, such as the heart, kidneys, and muscles.
Diagnostics in PH
This session will review the standard testing and methods used to diagnose and manage patients with pulmonary hypertension. Tests such as echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, exercise tests and other lab and imaging modalities will be highlighted.
Familial/Genetics and PAH
This session will review the genetics behind the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension, and how this can affect patients and their families. Current genetic tests and how treatment options may vary depending on genetics will also be discussed.
Left Heart Disease with PH and Diastolic Dysfunction
Panelists will provide an overview of pulmonary hypertension in the setting of left heart disease and the implications that diastolic dysfunction could have on the patient.
Obesity, Diet Treatments and PH
This session will discuss the role of diet pills and obesity as causes of PH, and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and an ideal weight to improve symptoms.
PH and Lung Disease, Sleep Apnea and Oxygen Supplementation
During this session, panelists will discuss pulmonary hypertension in the setting of lung disease. The current evaluation of diagnosis and selecting therapies for these conditions, including oxygen supplementation, will be covered.
Surgery and Anesthesia in PH Patients
This session will discuss preoperative evaluation and risks for pulmonary hypertension patients undergoing surgery, including the effects of anesthesia, type of operation and ICU care.
Thromboembolic Disease and PH
Unlike most other causes of pulmonary hypertension, chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) can be cured with surgery (pulmonary thromboendarterectomy), although very few centers perform this procedure. This session will review diagnosis and treatment options for CTEPH patients.
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Living with PH
Care for the PH Caregiver
This session, specifically targeted to family members of adult pulmonary hypertension patients, will provide an overview of what caregivers should know about PH and how they can manage multiple priorities while caring for their own needs.
Coping with Chronic Illness: Compassion Fatigue and Survivor's Guilt*
This session will highlight many emotional challenges that long-term survivors may feel, such as compassion fatigue and survivor’s guilt. Panelists will offer various coping strategies for patients and caregivers.
This session will address situations when pulmonary hypertension becomes an emergency, either because of progression of the underlying disease due to a superimposed complication, such as a blood clot or pneumonia, or because of a complication of a medication or the delivery system. The focus will be on who to call, what immediate measure to take and where to go.
Panelists will share guidance on how to optimize emotional health and quality of life while dealing with invasive treatments and a difficult disease.
This session will focus on how different types of exercises can improve patient quality of life at different stages in the disease.
Intimacy Issues – Men
This session will provide a comfortable setting for men to communicate about intimacy issues. Panelists will address concerns regarding the effect of this chronic illness on intimacy in relationships, and how to improve quality of life.
Intimacy Issues – Women
This session will provide a comfortable setting for women to communicate about intimacy issues. Panelists will address concerns regarding the effect of this chronic illness on intimacy and relationships, and how to improve quality of life.
Nutrition: Salt and Diuretics
Panelists will discuss how a patient’s diet can improve living with pulmonary hypertension. Attendees will learn how to optimize the body’s water balance with good salt and water habits, tricks to maintain ideal body weight and foods that interact with medications.
PH and Other Comorbid Illnesses*
Panelists will discuss how living with PH may be affected by other chronic illnesses that a patient may develop throughout his or her lifetime, such as cancer or diabetes.
Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation
During this session panelists will discuss why and how patients may benefit from pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation.
Reproductive Health and PH*
This session will cover various reproductive health issues that patients living with pulmonary hypertension may encounter.
*These sessions have been recommended for long-term PH patients
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Changing PH Medications
A wealth of effective and approved pulmonary hypertension medications are currently available to PH patients, but there are sometimes reasons to switch medications, such as failure to improve, side effects or the complex nature of some medications. In this session, the panel will explore and discuss the process of switching PH medications.
Combination Treatments in PAH
Treatment options for pulmonary arterial hypertension have dramatically expanded with the availability of multiple medications. This session will focus on the rationale for combination therapy, including how and when PH specialists may choose to adjust or switch treatments, and review results of studies on combination therapy.
Prostacylins (epoprostenol, treprostinil) are among the most potent and effective therapies for patients with advanced pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, use of these therapies is complicated due to their unique delivery systems. This session will review data on currently available infused prostacylins, including side effects and complications patients may face.
Inhaled Therapies for PAH
Previously, prostacyclins were administered intravenously or subcutaneously. Now there are two inhaled FDA-approved prostacyclins (iloprost, treprostinil) that affect the prostacyclin pathway. This session will review inhaled prostacyclins, the theory behind their use and their side effects.
Oral Treatments: PDE-5 Inhibitors, Endothelin Receptor Antagonists and Soluble Guanylate Cyclase Stimulators
This session will review phosphodiesterase inhibitors (sildenafil, tadalafil), endothelin receptor antagonists (ambrisentan, bosentan, and macitentan), and soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators (riociguat). Panelists will review the roles of these drugs in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension and the mechanisms that make these drugs effective.
This session will provide an overview of lung transplant in the setting of pulmonary hypertension. The updated lung allocation scoring system for transplant will be discussed, along with atrial septostomy and thromboendarterectomy.
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Future of PH/Research
Investigational Therapies/Stem Cell in PAH
This presentation will highlight various active and recently completed clinical trials. The panel will also discuss stem cells as a potential novel therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension, particularly for patients with advanced disease who are unresponsive to currently available therapies.
PAH Drug Development and Clinical Trials
Clinical trials in pulmonary arterial hypertension have led to the FDA approval of 11 medications over the past 18 years. During this session, the panel will provide an overview of how drugs are developed and how new drugs may impact therapeutic selection for individual patients. Experienced researchers will provide a general overview of the clinical trial process, including the benefits and potential risks patients may face.
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Ask a Pediatrician – For Parents of Infants to11 Year-Old Patients
The aims of therapy for pediatric patients are unique. This session will focus on treatment strategies and their impact on pediatric patients (ages 0-11) and their families.
Ask a Pediatrician – For Parents of 12 to 18 year-old Patients
Transitioning from pediatric to adult PH care can be difficult. This session will review pretransition counseling, patient responsibility and how to make the transition smooth for patients, parents and providers.
Medical Therapy for Children with PH
This session will describe how newly approved medications for adults are being used in children.
Surgical Problems for Children with PH
The panel with highlight various issues around anesthetics and processes when pediatric pulmonary hypertension patients undergo surgical procedures.
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