Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is a disease of the pulmonary vasculature, leading to shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, and ultimately right heart failure. A total of approximately 100 million people worldwide suffer from one of the forms of Pulmonary Hypertension. Vascular pathology is characterized by vasoconstriction of the pulmonary vessels and abnormal (pseudomalignant) remodeling processes (thickening) of all vessel layers. Excessive proliferation of the vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) is a prominent feature in virtually all forms of the disease. These remodeling processes lead to a severe loss of the cross-sectional area of the vessels, vascular pruning, and a concomitant increase in right ventricular afterload. Current PH therapy provides symptomatic relief and improves prognosis but falls short when it comes to recovering structural and functional lung vascular integrity, a prerequisite for symptom-free long-term survival. Restoration of the vascular structure and function (reverse remodeling) is the main goal of the research work carried out by the PH team.
Dr. Sylvia Weißmann (UGMLC)