The research interests of Robert P. Frantz, M.D., are centered on the varied forms of pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary vascular disease and right heart failure, including pathophysiology, hemodynamics, causes of exercise limitation and optimal management strategies. Dr. Frantz's research includes defining best strategies for management of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.
- Pathophysiology of pulmonary vascular disease. Dr. Frantz is studying the factors responsible for pulmonary hypertension across the varying underlying associated disease states in order to understand why some patients have more severe pulmonary hypertension than others.
- Treatment strategies for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Frantz's work in this area focuses on patient selection, optimal clinical and imaging evaluation as well as the role of pulmonary artery balloon angioplasty for these complex patients.
- Evaluation of shortness of breath (dyspnea) of uncertain cause. Dr. Frantz is developing a systematic approach to diagnostic evaluation, including exercise testing during right heart catheterization. Best management of the varying causes of dyspnea is the goal of this work.
- Pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Frantz is researching management approaches for pulmonary hypertension associated with left heart disease and with right heart failure in patients with left ventricular assist devices.
Significance to patient care
Identification of novel pathways involved in the development of pulmonary vascular disease may lead to breakthrough approaches to treatment.
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension that is not amenable to open surgical thromboendarterectomy has historically been a very difficult problem. Evolving experience indicates that some patients benefit from the less invasive approach of pulmonary balloon angioplasty. Dr. Frantz is carefully assessing these patients to improve understanding of best practices for evaluation, procedural performance and long-term follow-up.
Dyspnea is a common symptom, with many possible causes that may be obscure, and with widely varying approaches to evaluation. A systematic approach to the evaluation and management of patients with dyspnea is needed to improve symptoms and outcome for these complex patients.
Combined left and right heart failure is a difficult problem often associated with adverse outcomes. This is also true of right heart failure occurring after left ventricular assist device implantation. The study of new approaches, including medications, for these patients is intended to address a largely unmet medical need.
- Site principal investigator, U01 award: Redefining Pulmonary Hypertension through Pulmonary Vascular Disease Phenomics, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2014-2019
- Chair, steering committee, Macitentan in Pulmonary hypertenSiOn Post-left ventRiculAr Assist Device implaNtatiOn (Soprano) study, Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd., 2015-2017
- Chair, Scientific Council on Pulmonary Hypertension, International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2012-2014