The BC Pulmonary Hypertension Program

Introduction

 

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a term for any condition that results in an elevation of the pressures in the vessels that carry blood through the lungs from the right side of the heart to the left side of the heart.

In pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) blood vessels in the lungs tighten and narrow causing an increase in pressure and making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood through the lungs. This can eventually lead to strain on the heart and difficulty circulating blood throughout the entire body. PAH can be a severe and progressive disease however many treatment options now exist that can dramatically alter the natural history of this disease.

The Pulmonary Hypertension program at the Vancouver General Hospital is a multi-disciplinary clinic specializing in the diagnosis and management of pulmonary vascular diseases. The PH program is composed of Respirologists, Cardiologists, Rheumatologists, as well as nurse practitioner/registered nurses and research coordinators. We are affiliated with both the Pacific Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic and the Systemic Sclerosis Clinic at St Paul’s Hospital. With both academic and research interests, the VGH PH clinic specializes in the assessment and treatment of patients with pulmonary hypertension as well as participating in clinical research and therapeutic trials. We welcome evaluation and management referrals from all regions of British Columbia and endeavor to provide care for patients throughout the province.

About the Pulmonary Hypertension Program

 

The Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic at the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) is a multidisciplinary program dedicated to the evaluation and care of patients with pulmonary hypertension. We provide diagnostic evaluation and consultation for those suspected of suffering from PH. We also provide ongoing care and management to those diagnosed with these diseases including initiation of therapy, monitoring for progression, and evaluating response to treatment. The pulmonary hypertension team provides both outpatient care in the PH clinic at The Lung Centre in the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre as well as inpatient care at VGH.

 

The Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic at VGH is currently the primary referral centre for pulmonary hypertension in British Columbia. We evaluate and monitor patients with PH from across the province. We are also currently the only site in BC capable of initiating advanced therapy for PAH (intravenous and subcutaneous prostenoid therapies). The PH physicians and are also affiliated with the BC Lung Transplant Program and therefore assist patients with transitions to the Transplant Program when appropriate.

Pulmonary Hypertension Program Staff

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Dr. Ali Kapasi MD FRCPC

 

Dr. Kapasi completed his MD (Honours) at the University of Alberta in 2003. He subsequently completed a residency in Internal Medicine, and fellowships in Respirology and Lung Transplantation, before joining the academic staff at the University of Alberta in 2009. He received tenure in 2015, and completed a sabbatical with the Stanford University Pulmonary Hypertension program in Palo Alto, CA from 2018-2019.

 

Dr. Kapasi joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia in July 2021, and is currently an Associate Clinical Professor. He continues to maintain a busy clinical practice focused on advanced lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, and lung transplantation