Baxter Cardiologist Seeking Answers About Pulmonary Hypertension
After working at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation in the Baxter clinic for a few years, cardiologist Eric Fenstad has seen nearly 150 patients with pulmonary hypertension.
“He saw all of these patients at this clinic with pulmonary hypertension and he was like, ‘what is going on?’ So he dug a little deeper, came up with how he could approach that question to get answers,” said Heart Institute Foundation CEO Kris Fortman.
Rarely, though, does Dr. Fenstad see patients affected the same by the disease.
“Every patient seems to respond a little differently, and their pulmonary hypertension is treated differently as such. This research study is really designed to answer the question of why this happens and how one person’s pulmonary hypertension is a little different than the next persons’,” said Dr. Fenstad.
Pulmonary hypertension is an elevated blood pressure in the lungs that comes from the right heart.
“Pulmonary hypertension is a big issue in this community and Dr. Eric Fenstad is going to do this research to help us better understand it, better treat and identify,” Fortman said.
In order to check for pulmonary hypertension, patients have pictures taken of their lungs to check for blood clots.
“I’m hoping that we can make a medical breakthrough with pulmonary hypertension and get to the root cause of this problem. Hopefully it will unlock some of the mystery that has evaded us thus far,” said Dr. Fenstad.
Arnie and JoAnn Johnson – very generous donors form the Brainerd area – have donated $25,000 to get the research project started. The Minneapolis Heart Institute foundation is there to see the research through all the way to the results.
“The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation is a separate non-profit organization that exists solely to support the research and education of the Minneapolis Heart Institute physicians,” Fortman said.
By October, Dr. Fenstad will start the collection of blood samples from those with pulmonary hypertension. Once 50 to 100 samples have been taken, the analysis process will begin.
If you would like to donate or participate in the study, you can visit the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation website here: mplsheart.org