Imad Al Ghouleh, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Funded by the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
Studying Heart's Response to Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease where blood vessels in the lung undergo changes that result in resistance to blood flow. The heart responds by thickening its right ventricle (RV) to overcome this resistance. Eventually, these changes lead to RV failure, the leading cause of death from PAH. The presence of fluid, or effusion, in the sac surrounding the heart called the pericardium during PAH is predictive of increased mortality and RV failure. It is unclear what the link between PAH, pericardial effusions and RV failure is. We will study the mechanisms underlying these processes. We hope to gain insights that will lead to identifying new therapeutic targets to combat this deadly disease.