Pulmonary Hypertension in Brazil – An interview with Rogerio Souza, Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at University of São Paulo and member of the WSPHA Scientific Board

Professor Souza, would you please introduce yourself?

My name is Rogerio Souza, I’m professor of Pulmonary Medicine at the University of São Paolo Medical School in Brazil.

What kind of progress still needs to be done in the field of Pulmonary Hypertension?

Although it may seem quite simple, because we have dealt with that for 20 years, we still have to better phenotype different forms of Pulmonary Hypertension. We had a major step by proposing a new definition of the disease, and we recognize different settings in which Pulmonary Hypertension may exist, but we still have to better understand which subgroups are really characteristic of a different pathophysiology and then try to better deal with that, to better treat those specific subgroups. There is still a lot of work to be done in better understanding different forms of PH.

When did you start working in this field and for which reason did you start your own group in Sao Paulo?

I started studying Pulmonary Hypertension in 1998 and in fact,  there was a need to organize a group to study pulmonary circulation in São Paolo and specifically at our university because we used to deal with patients with pulmonary circulation disorders at the intensive care unit but we didn’t have anything really organized to deal with patients with Pulmonary Hypertension in an outpatient clinic. We had those patients for transplantation, but we didn’t have organized care  for Pulmonary Hypertension, specifically in the outpatient clinic. That’s how we started in our group at least, and then we tried to organize a little bit more and to see if the characteristics of Pulmonary Hypertension in a country like Brazil would be the same characteristics that we have seen described in Europe and US, and in fact we discovered they are not. We have elements that are specific for our country and this has to be better studied. 

What will be the impact of the WSPH Association in the Pulmonary Hypertension community?

The  World Symposium has held an important role in the development of Pulmonary Hypertension field, that is definite.  If one looks at the controversies that have been raised in each of the previous World Symposia, it is clear that they have helped the field to grow in subsequent years.

I think that the initiative is quite important because there is a need to better address important questions in the field, and the Association will put these into sharp focus and facilitate a shift from a reactive to a more a proactive state.