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Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez is an associate professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Stanford University, and practicing cardiopulmonologist who specializes in research and the clinical care of patients with pulmonary hypertension.

He joins the show today to discuss the details of this interesting and important career, including the following:

  • What the difference is between systemic hypertension and pulmonary hypertension
  • How pulmonary hypertension has emerged as an increasingly common and complex disease since the 1960s, and what signs and symptoms patients generally present with
  • What drugs and interventions can be used to treat different forms of pulmonary hypertension, and the importance of educating and supporting medical professionals in this area

Dr. De Jesus Perez begins by illustrating the road that led him to pursue a path of medicine in the field of cardiopulmonology and critical care. He details one of the most difficult and memorable patients he saw in his early days as a medical intern, and how the experience spurred his desire to dive more deeply into an understanding of pulmonary hypertension.

He explains the fascinating and somewhat unusual uptick in the number of cases of pulmonary hypertension in the 1960s in correlation with a weight loss drug called aminorex, and the discovery that pulmonary hypertension can be both a disease on its own as well as a complication of other disease processes, including lung fibrosis, left heart failure, kidney failure, HIV, and scleroderma.

In order to meet the needs of patients with pulmonary hypertension and properly equip medical professionals for dealing with the disease, Dr. De Jesus Perez’s group was one of the first to establish a pulmonary fellowship program aimed at training professionals to understand, diagnose, and treat pulmonary hypertension.

Tune in to hear the full conversation and learn about the many resources for additional information on pulmonary hypertension, including http://med.stanford.edu/wallcenter.html.

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