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      Acute vasoreactivity test results in severe pulmonary hypertension patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: our experience with 29 cases

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          The aim of the current study is to evaluate acute vasoreactivity test (AVT) results in severe pulmonary hypertension patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and to compare the demographical, clinical, and laboratory variables in positive and negative cases.


          This retrospective, clinical study was performed on 29 cases in the departments of cardiology and chest diseases of our tertiary care center. AVT was positive in 12 (41.4%) cases and negative in 17 (58.6%) cases. Demographical variables, cardiopulmonary indicators, and laboratory findings were compared in these two subgroups.


          The mean age was 62.3±7.8 years for AVT negative group, while it was 64.8±7.3 years in AVT positive group ( P=0.38). Except for the changes in systolic, diastolic, and mean pulmonary arterial pressures before and after iloprost administration, there were no statistically significant differences regarding any of the parameters under investigation in both groups.


          Despite the high rate of positivity for AVT in severe pulmonary hypertension patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, none of the variables under investigation displayed a noteworthy difference between AVT negative and positive groups. Identification of factors likely to influence AVT results is important for establishment of appropriate treatment protocols especially for AVT negative cases.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Diagnosis and differential assessment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

          Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is diagnosed by various investigations that are essential for making the diagnosis, and by additional tests to clarify the category of pulmonary hypertension (PH). A diagnostic algorithm can guide the evaluation of PH, but like all guidelines the algorithm can be modified according to specific clinical circumstances. Most patients are diagnosed as the result of an evaluation of symptoms, whereas others are diagnosed during screening of asymptomatic populations at risk. Right heart catheterization (RHC) must be performed in patients with suspected PH to establish the diagnosis and document pulmonary hemodynamics. Before initiation of medical therapy, assessment of acute vasoreactivity (during catheterization) is necessary to determine the appropriate therapy for an individual patient. An acute response is generally defined as a decrease in mean pulmonary arterial pressure of at least 10 mm Hg with the mean pulmonary arterial pressure decreasing to 40 mm Hg or below, accompanied by a normal or high cardiac output. After PAH is diagnosed, disease severity should be assessed in order to accurately determine risk:benefit profiles for various therapeutic options. Useful tools to predict outcome include functional class, exercise capacity, pulmonary hemodynamics, acute vasoreactivity, right ventricular function, as well as brain natriuretic peptide, endothelin-1, uric acid, and troponin levels. Repeating these tests serially on treatment is useful for monitoring the response to a given therapy. Close follow-up at a center specializing in management of PH is recommended, with careful periodic reassessment and adjustment of therapy.
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            Pulmonary hemodynamics in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease before and during an episode of peripheral edema.

            We have investigated pulmonary hemodynamics in 16 patients with COPD with respiratory insufficiency, exhibiting marked peripheral edema. All the patients had previously undergone, within the last 6 months (T1), a right heart catheterization, in a stable state of their disease, when they were free of edema. Patients were subdivided into two groups according to the level of right ventricular end-diastolic pressure (RVEDP) during the episode of edema (T2): patients with a markedly elevated RVEDP (> 12 mm Hg) indicating the presence of right ventricular failure (RVF) = group 1, n = 9; patients with a normal or slightly elevated RVEDP (< 12 mm Hg) = group 2 (no RVF), n = 7. In group 1 pulmonary artery mean pressure (PAP) increased very significantly from T1 (27 +/- 5) to T2 (40 +/- 6 mm Hg, p < 0.001) as did RVEDP, from 7.5 +/- 3.9 to 13.4 +/- 1.2 mm Hg (p < 0.001). These hemodynamic changes paralleled a marked worsening of arterial blood gases, PaO2 falling from 63 +/- 4 to 49 +/- 7 mm Hg (p < 0.01) and PaCO2 increasing from 46 +/- 7 to 59 +/- 14 mm Hg (p < 0.01). On the other hand, in group 2, PAP was stable during the episode of edema (from 20 +/- 6 to 21 +/- 5 mm Hg), as was RVEDP (from 5.5 +/- 2.4 to 5.1 +/- 1.5 mm Hg), and changes in arterial blood gases from T1 to T2 were small and nonsignificant. It is concluded that RVF is effectively present in at least some patients with COPD with peripheral edema and is associated with a significant increase of PAP from baseline, probably accounted for by hypoxic vasoconstriction. Thus, pressure overload may contribute to the development of RVF. In other patients there are no hemodynamic signs of RVF, PAP is stable, and the origin of edema is not well understood.
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              Pulmonary hypertension in obstructive sleep apnoea.

              To determine the frequency and correlates of pulmonary hypertension in sleep-disordered breathing, pulmonary artery pressure, lung function and arterial blood gases were measured in 100 consecutive patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) (respiratory disturbance index (RDI) of > 20 episodes.h-1). Twenty six of the patients had significant chronic airflow limitation (CAL). Overall, 42% of patients had awake pulmonary artery pressure > 20 mmHg. Patients with pulmonary hypertension were older, had higher arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2), lower arterial oxygen tension (PaO2) and lower forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) values compared with normotensive patients. Pao2, PaCO2 and FEV1 were correlated with the levels of pulmonary artery pressure (correlation coefficient (r2) 0.50, 0.46 and 0.49, respectively). These three factors combined could explain 33% of the variability in pulmonary artery pressure. Six patients had pulmonary hypertension despite a PaO2 in excess of 10.7 kPa (80 mmHg). We conclude that pulmonary hypertension is common in patients with moderate and severe sleep apnoea, especially those with coexisting chronic airflow limitation. The presence of daytime hypoxaemia is not a prerequisite in the development of pulmonary hypertension in these patients.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                28 May 2015
                : 10
                : 969-973
                [1 ]Department of Chest Diseases, Van Yuksek Ihtisas Training and Research Hospital, Van, Turkey
                [2 ]Department of Cardiology, Van Yuksek Ihtisas Training and Research Hospital, Van, Turkey
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Selvi Asker, Department of Chest Diseases, Yuzuncu, Yil University Faculty of Medicine, 65170, Van, Turkey, Tel +90 505 251 4704, Fax +90 432 212 1954, Email selviasker@
                © 2015 Asker and Asker. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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