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      Overview of current therapeutic approaches for pulmonary hypertension

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          Abstract

          There have been tremendous strides in the management of pulmonary hypertension over the past 20 years with the introduction of targeted medical therapies and overall improvements in surgical treatment options and general supportive care. Furthermore, recent data shows that the survival of those with pulmonary arterial hypertension is improving. While there has been tremendous progress, much work remains to be done in improving the care of those with secondary forms of pulmonary hypertension, who constitute the majority of patients with this disorder, and in the optimal treatment approach in those with pulmonary arterial hypertension. This article will review general and targeted medical treatment, along with surgical interventions, of those with pulmonary hypertension.

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          Most cited references 165

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          Survival in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension. Results from a national prospective registry.

          To characterize mortality in persons diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension and to investigate factors associated with survival. Registry with prospective follow-up. Thirty-two clinical centers in the United States participating in the Patient Registry for the Characterization of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Patients (194) diagnosed at clinical centers between 1 July 1981 and 31 December 1985 and followed through 8 August 1988. At diagnosis, measurements of hemodynamic variables, pulmonary function, and gas exchange variables were taken in addition to information on demographic variables, medical history, and life-style. Patients were followed for survival at 6-month intervals. The estimated median survival of these patients was 2.8 years (95% Cl, 1.9 to 3.7 years). Estimated single-year survival rates were as follows: at 1 year, 68% (Cl, 61% to 75%); at 3 years, 48% (Cl, 41% to 55%); and at 5 years, 34% (Cl, 24% to 44%). Variables associated with poor survival included a New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class of III or IV, presence of Raynaud phenomenon, elevated mean right atrial pressure, elevated mean pulmonary artery pressure, decreased cardiac index, and decreased diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO). Drug therapy at entry or discharge was not associated with survival duration. Mortality was most closely associated with right ventricular hemodynamic function and can be characterized by means of an equation using three variables: mean pulmonary artery pressure, mean right atrial pressure, and cardiac index. Such an equation, once validated prospectively, could be used as an adjunct in planning treatment strategies and allocating medical resources.
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            ACCF/AHA 2009 expert consensus document on pulmonary hypertension a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Expert Consensus Documents and the American Heart Association developed in collaboration with the American College of Chest Physicians; American Thoracic Society, Inc.; and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

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              A comparison of continuous intravenous epoprostenol (prostacyclin) with conventional therapy for primary pulmonary hypertension.

              Primary pulmonary hypertension is a progressive disease for which no treatment has been shown in a prospective, randomized trial to improve survival. We conducted a 12-week prospective, randomized, multicenter open trial comparing the effects of the continuous intravenous infusion of epoprostenol (formerly called prostacyclin) plus conventional therapy with those of conventional therapy alone in 81 patients with severe primary pulmonary hypertension (New York Heart Association functional class III or IV). Exercise capacity was improved in the 41 patients treated with epoprostenol (median distance walked in six minutes, 362 m at 12 weeks vs. 315 m at base line), but it decreased in the 40 patients treated with conventional therapy alone (204 m at 12 weeks vs. 270 m at base line; P < 0.002 for the comparison of the treatment groups). Indexes of the quality of life were improved only in the epoprostenol group (P < 0.01). Hemodynamics improved at 12 weeks in the epoprostenol-treated patients. The changes in mean pulmonary-artery pressure for the epoprostenol and control groups were -8 percent and +3 percent, respectively (difference in mean change, -6.7 mm Hg; 95 percent confidence interval, -10.7 to -2.6 mm Hg; P < 0.002), and the mean changes in pulmonary vascular resistance for the epoprostenol and control groups were -21 percent and +9 percent, respectively (difference in mean change, -4.9 mm Hg/liter/min; 95 percent confidence interval, -7.6 to -2.3 mm Hg/liter/min; P < 0.001). Eight patients died during the study, all of whom had been randomly assigned to conventional therapy (P = 0.003). Serious complications included four episodes of catheter-related sepsis and one thrombotic event. As compared with conventional therapy, the continuous intravenous infusion of epoprostenol produced symptomatic and hemodynamic improvement, as well as improved survival in patients with severe primary pulmonary hypertension.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pulm Circ
                PC
                Pulmonary Circulation
                Medknow Publications (India )
                2045-8932
                2045-8940
                Apr-Jun 2011
                : 1
                : 2
                : 138-159
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, USA
                [2 ]Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medial Center (UPMC), Pittsburgh, USA
                [3 ]UPMC Cardiovascular Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
                Author notes
                Address correspondence to: Dr. Michael Mathier, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 200, Lothrop Street S553 Scaife Hall, Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA (Office): 412/647-3429412/647-0481 E-mail: mathierm@ 123456upmc.edu
                Article
                PC-1-138
                10.4103/2045-8932.83444
                3198638
                22034603
                Copyright: © Pulmonary Circulation

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review Article

                Respiratory medicine

                pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary arterial hypertension, treatment, therapy

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