Dyspnea: Many Possible Causes, Always To Be Taken Seriously

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Sleuthing Unexplained Dyspnea: Diagnostic Tools

Dyspnea: Many Possible Causes, Always To Be Taken Seriously

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  • Overview

    Unexplained dyspnea may have many causes, which is why patients must have a complete diagnostic work-up to rule out pulmonary hypertension (PH) as a root cause. The differential diagnosis of PH is multifaceted and should be a collaborative effort between the community healthcare provider and the PH specialist at the PH center. Many diagnostic evaluations may be performed outside of the PH center, but right heart catheterization, which is the definitive procedure, and adjoining tests should be performed at the center. Newer and emerging diagnostic imaging techniques may also prove helpful, particularly in diagnosing chronic thromboembolism leading to chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. This program reviews the diagnostic approach to determining whether PH is the root cause of patients’ dyspnea and considers when community physicians, having created an index of suspicion for PH, should immediately refer their patients to the PH center for a full work-up.

  • Target Audience

    This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, registered nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved in the care of patients with pulmonary hypertension.

  • Learning Objectives

    After participating in this educational activity, participants should be better able to:

    • Review the potential causes of unexplained dyspnea and the implications of delayed diagnosis of underlying causes as they pertain to pulmonary hypertension
    • Discuss collaborative diagnostic roles of the community physician and the PH specialty center in determining the potential presence of pulmonary hypertension and the need for expedient referral to the specialty center
    • Compare and contrast the diagnostic tools available to determine the presence, cause and severity of pulmonary hypertension and newer diagnostic modalities that are influencing the diagnostic process
    • Review the necessary diagnostic values and implications needed to create an “index of suspicion” that pulmonary hypertension is at the core of a patient’s unexplained dyspnea
  • Format


  • Accreditation and Credit Designation Statements

    In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Global Learning Collaborative (GLC) and TotalCME, Inc. GLC is jointly accredited by the American Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

    Global Learning Collaborative (GLC) designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    Global Learning Collaborative (GLC) designates this activity for 1.0 hour of Nursing contact hours. Nurses should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    This curriculum has been approved for 1.0 contact hour/ 0.1 CEUs by Global Learning Collaborative (GLC). GLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.
    The Universal Activity Number for this program is JA0006235-0000-22-014-H01-P. This learning activity is knowledge-based. Your CE credits will be electronically submitted to the NABP upon successful completion of the activity. Pharmacists with questions can contact NABP customer service ( 

  • Faculty Disclosure of Commercial Relationships

    In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence, Global Learning Collaborative (GLC) requires that individuals in a position to control the content of an educational activity disclose all relevant financial relationships with any ineligible company. GLC mitigates all conflicts of interest to ensure independence, objectivity, balance, and scientific rigor in all its educational programs.

    The following faculty has reported relationships with ineligible companies:

    Ioana Preston, MD, faculty for this educational event, receives research funds from Janssen, United Therapeutics and PhaseBio; and receives consulting fees from Janssen, United Therapeutics, Altavant, Respira, Gossamer, and Liquidia.

    All the relevant financial relationships for this individual have been mitigated.

  • Planners and Managers Disclosure List

    The following reviewers/planners have reported no relationships with ineligible companies:

    Dixon W. Wilde, PhD., FAHA, planner for this educational event, has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

    Chad McQueen, PharmD, planner for this educational event, has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

    William Mencia, MD, FACEHP, CHCP, planner for this educational event, has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

    All the relevant financial relationships for these individuals have been mitigated.

  • Disclaimer

    The views and opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of GLC and TotalCME, Inc. This presentation is not intended to define an exclusive course of patient management; the participant should use their clinical judgment, knowledge, experience, and diagnostic skills in applying or adopting for professional use any of the information provided herein. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient's conditions and possible contraindications or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities. Links to other sites may be provided as additional sources of information. Once you elect to link to a site outside of MedEd On The Go you are subject to the terms and conditions of use, including copyright and licensing restrictions, of that site.

    Reproduction Prohibited
    Reproduction of this material is not permitted without written permission from the copyright owner.

  • Acknowledgment

    This activity is supported by educational grants from Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Division of Janssen Pharmaceuticals and United Therapeutics Corporation.

    Jointly provided by Global Learning Collaborative (GLC) and TotalCME, Inc. 

  • Fee Statement

    This activity is FREE to all participants.

  • Instructions for Completion

    During the period 6/30/2022 through 6/30/2023, registered participants wishing to receive continuing education credit for this activity must follow these steps:

    1. Read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures.
    2. Answer a pre-program question.
    3. View the program.
    4. Complete the post-test with a score of 100%.
    5. Complete activity evaluation.
    6. Apply for credit and either bank your credits or print your certificate.

    For Pharmacists: Upon successfully completing the post-test with a score of 100% and the activity evaluation form, transcript information will be sent to the NABP CPE Monitor Service. This may require you to add or update the e-profile ID/date of birth information saved in your account.

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Schedule8 Jun 2023