A New Device to Treat Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) Through Neuromodulation

Case ID:

This invention is a method of treating pulmonary arterial hypertension without the use of drugs. The invention describes a system for bilateral electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve that can be implanted in the human body with the goal of ameliorating symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension. This device can be used with neonatal populations, where there have been limited therapies approved.



Pulmonary hypertension is a group of diseases characterized by elevated blood pressure in the lungs. There are five types defined by the World Health Organization, each based on the root cause of the elevated blood pressure. All types of pulmonary hypertension are serious, and if untreated, can lead to right heart failure and even death--group 3 pulmonary hypertension has a 1-year mortality of 46%, followed by group 2 at 40.9%. Among neonatal patients, there are limited therapies and drugs that have been approved for the treatment of PAH. Currently nitric oxide is an existing treatment, but it is not widely used. Pulmonary hypertension is currently not curable, but its symptoms can sometimes be managed. Partly thanks to its “orphan” status, a number drugs have been recently developed to treat group 1 pulmonary hypertension directly, but other types are often approached in terms of treating the underlying disease or even surgically. There is a clear need for more and better therapies for pulmonary hypertension, given that the current drugs are expensive, can have unpleasant side effects, and cannot be applied to all groups of pulmonary hypertension. This invention has the potential to fill that gap, and provide a way of treating all groups of pulmonary hypertension with few to no side effects.



  • Nonpharmacological treatment of pulmonary hypertension



  • Targeted to neonatal population, where limited therapies exist
  • Stimulation results in few to no side effects
  • Technique can be applied to all groups of pulmonary hypertension unlike current pharmacological interventions
  • The invention may also be more cost-effective than current drugs
  • Once implanted, patient will rarely need to return to the point of care whereas some drugs require repeated or constant infusions
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Mitch Graffeo
Sr. Licensing Manager - COM-T
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Mohamed Ahmed
Philipp Gutruf