Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care
The Pulmonary Vascular Disease program at Jefferson specializes in diagnosing and treating individuals with pulmonary hypertension (PH), with a special emphasis on those with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). All patients are seen at the Jefferson Heart Institute location where patients undergo a thorough physician evaluation and as necessary, echocardiograms, exercise testing, nurse teaching and medication starts - all on-site. Our busy practice includes referrals for PH related to connective tissue disorders (such as scleroderma and lupus), drugs/toxins, advanced liver disease, HIV infection, sickle cell disease, pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, pulmonary embolism, and sleep apnea.
Right heart catheterizations (also known as “pulmonary artery catheterizations”) with acute pulmonary vasodilator trials using inhaled nitric oxide are performed regularly by Jefferson physicians at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s cardiac catheterization laboratory. We are particularly pleased by the success our patients have had with the inhaled and newer parenteral (intravenous and subcutaneous) prostacyclins, coordinated by our nursing staff with close collaboration with the specialty pharmacies.
We are currently enrolling PAH patients in the GRIPHON trial, a global study of a novel oral prostacyclin analogue aiming to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by PAH.
Our clinical research interests include new oral therapies for PAH, sleep apnea evaluation in PH, right ventricular function in sickle cell disease, improved ways to measure the exercise tolerance in PAH, catheter extraction of pulmonary embolism and pathogenesis of PAH in advanced liver disease.
If you wish to discuss a potential referral for evaluation, Michael L. Scharf, M.D., Director of Jefferson’s Pulmonary Vascular Disease program, welcomes the opportunity to speak to you. Dr. Scharf may be reached by telephone at 215 955-5161, option 2 or by e-mail at Michael.Scharf@Jefferson.edu.