Pulmonary Hypertension and Ventricular happiness

The inaugural Masterclass on the subject of Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) on 14 July was held in Canberra. Drs Taboada and Martinez made a return visit to Australia and Canberra after their very successful tour in 2013 for the ASA National Scientific Congress in Canberra that year.

International expert in the field Cardiologist Dr Dolores Taboada from the Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit at the Papworth Hospital in Cambridge described the classification of pulmonary hypertension, the role of the cardiologist (with a special interest in PH) in diagnosis and treatment. Dr Taboada explained how patients are stratified for disease severity/ prognosis and responses to stress on the timeline of this serious and progressive condition. In summary, she illustrated these concepts with case histories.

After a short break for dinner, Dr Martinez took the microphone to give a clinically orieneted, very practical practical and entertaining exposition on “How much is too much” when confronted pulmonary hypertension patients presenting for non-cardiac anaesthesia. He described how the right ventricle performs with the added insults of ischaemia and increased wall tension – and what we can do about it. Dr Martinez concluded with practical patient risk assessment schemes and tips on how to avoid or deal with catastrophes.

This clinical and pharmacology update for pulmonary hypertension was timely – it is now an increasingly treatable condition with which a growing number of our patients present for surgery. We all enjoyed the chance to discuss or experiences with each other and experts in the field.The introduction of the concept of ventricular happiness was one with which there was universal acceptance and understanding. It was the theme of the evening.

This evening was sponsored by ASA and supported by Bayer. Pharmacology PhD Dr Jade Wei and Neuroscientist Dr Mark Kepper represented Bayer Healthcare.

Drs Taboada and Martinez have recently published a review of PH in Anaesthesia.

“ Pulmonary Hypertension and its management in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery”

Anaesthesia Volume 70 Issue 1 pp56-70 Jan 2015

A slideshow can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/133639139