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Don Hayes, MD, MS

Award Name Davis/Bremer Pilot
Award Date 06/17/2013

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An investigation of novel biomarkers for diagnosis of pulmonary arterial hypertension in patients with cystic fibrosis

Don Hayes, MD, MS, received a Davis/Bremer Pilot Award from The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the OSU College of Medicine for his research project, An investigation of novel biomarkers for diagnosis of pulmonary arterial hypertension in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Hayes is the Medical Director of the Advanced Lung Disease Program and the Lung & Heart-Lung Transplant Programs at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University. His research focuses on how to better diagnose pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disorder in Caucasians. People with cystic fibrosis are at risk for developing PAH, a condition where the pressure of the blood vessels in a person’s lungs becomes high, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the lungs.

The heart must work harder in people with PAH, causing the blood pressure in the lungs to rise. This can lead to an early death. Dr. Hayes hopes to show that a better testing method to catch PAH in the early stages will allow for treatment to start sooner, slowing down the effect of the high pressure in patients with cystic fibrosis.

PAH today is diagnosed by a cardiologist who performs a right heart catheterization, an invasive procedure that often makes patients leery. Hayes believes that diagnosing PAH in patients with cystic fibrosis by using a CT scan could potentially make the invasive procedure unnecessary.

In Hayes’s research he will be correlating CT scan images with patients who are undergoing right heart catheterization to see if a CT scan can accurately show similar findings when compared to a right heart catheterization.

If the research data shows that an accurate diagnosis can be achieved using CT scans, this would allow patients with cystic fibrosis to receive a diagnosis without an invasive procedure and could potentially lead to starting treatment sooner.

“Our goal is to use CT scans as a better and less invasive method for testing patients for PAH who have cystic fibrosis,” Hayes said.

By Taylor Lucas, February 25, 2014

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