Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a chronic, progressive, life-threatening disease that requires expert multidisciplinary care. To facilitate this level of care, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association established across the United States a network of pulmonary hypertension care centers (PHCCs) with special expertise in PH, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension, to raise the overall quality of care and outcomes for patients with this life-threatening disease. Since the inception of PHCCs in September 2014, to date 35 centers have been accredited in the United States. This model of care brings together physicians and specialists from other disciplines to provide care, facilitate basic and clinical research, and educate the next generation of providers. PHCCs also offer additional opportunities for improvements in PH care. The patient registry offered through the PHCCs is an organized system by which data are collected to evaluate the outcomes of patients with PH. This registry helps in detecting variations in outcomes across centers, thus identifying opportunities for improvement. Multiple tactics were undertaken to implement the strategic plan, training, and tools throughout the PHCC network. In addition, strategies to foster collaboration between care center staff and individuals with PH and their families are the cornerstone of the PHCCs. The Pulmonary Vascular Network of the American College of Chest Physicians believes this to be a positive step that will improve the quality of care delivered in the United States to patients with PH.
Background Pulmonary hypertension (PHT) lacks community prevalence and outcome data. Objective To characterise minimum ‘indicative’ prevalences and mortality data for all forms of PHT in a selected population with an elevated estimated pulmonary artery systolic pressure (ePASP) on echocardiography. Design Observational cohort study. Setting Residents of Armadale and the surrounding region in Western Australia (population 165 450) referred to our unit for transthoracic echocardiography between January 2003 and December 2009. Results Overall, 10 314 individuals (6.2% of the surrounding population) had 15 633 echo studies performed. Of these, 3320 patients (32%) had insufficient TR to ePASP and 936 individuals (9.1%, 95% CI 8.6% to 9.7%) had PHT, defined as, ePASP>40 mm Hg. The minimum ‘indicative’ prevalence for all forms of PHT is 326 cases/100 000 inhabitants of the local population, with left heart disease-associated PHT being the commonest cause (250 cases/100 000). 15 cases of pulmonary arterial hypertension/100 000 inhabitants were identified and an additional 144 individuals (15%) with no identified cause for their PHT. The mean time to death for those with ePASP >40 mm Hg, calculated from the first recorded ePASP, was 4.1 years (95% CI 3.9 to 4.3). PHT increased mortality whatever the underlying cause, but patients with PHT from left heart disease had the worst prognosis and those with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension receiving disease-specific treatment the best prognosis. Risk of death increased with PHT severity: severe pulmonary hypertension shortened the lifespan by an average of 1.1 years compared with mild pulmonary hypertension. Conclusions In this cohort, PHT was common and deadly. Left heart disease was the most common cause and had the worst prognosis and treated pulmonary arterial hypertension had the best prognosis.
Background A subset of patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) develops pulmonary hypertension (PH) by mechanisms including pulmonary arterial hypertension, high flow, and elevated pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP). We aimed to describe echocardiographic and hemodynamic characteristics of patients with coexisting HHT and PH. Methods We conducted a single-center cohort study of patients with confirmed HHT who underwent right-sided heart catheterization (RHC) and transthoracic two-dimensional echocardiography for suspected PH between June 1, 2003 and September 1, 2013 at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota. Results Of 38 patients with confirmed HHT who underwent RHC and echocardiography, 28 (74%) had a mean pulmonary artery pressure (MPAP) ≥ 25 mm Hg. Of those 28, 12 (43%) had pulmonary arterial hypertension. Two patients had normal PAWP and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), with PH secondary to either an atrial septal defect or high cardiac flow. Fourteen patients (50%) had elevated PAWP (≥ 15 mm Hg), nine with evidence of high flow. RHC in all 28 patients demonstrated a MPAP of 41 ± 11 mm Hg, PAWP of 17 ± 10 mm Hg, and PVR of 4.5 ± 4.2 Wood units. Echocardiography demonstrated moderate/severe right ventricular dysfunction in nine patients (32%). The presence of PH trended toward worse survival ( P = .06). Conclusions PH in patients with HHT occurs by different mechanisms, and there is a trend toward worse survival in patients who develop PH despite the mechanism. The equal predilection toward all subtypes of PH illustrates the necessity of RHC to clarify the hemodynamics.
Objective Pulmonary endarterectomy is a curative surgical treatment option for the majority of patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. The current surgical management and postoperative outcome of patients enrolled in an international registry on chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension were investigated. Methods The registry included newly diagnosed (≤6 months) consecutive patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension from February 2007 to January 2009. Results A total of 679 patients were registered from 1 Canadian and 26 European centers, of whom 386 (56.8%) underwent surgery. The median age of patients undergoing surgery was 60 years, and 54.1% were male. Previous pulmonary embolism was confirmed for 79.8% of patients. Perioperative complications occurred in 189 patients (49.2%): infection (18.8%), persistent pulmonary hypertension (16.7%), neurologic (11.2%) or bleeding (10.2%) complications, pulmonary reperfusion edema (9.6%), pericardial effusion (8.3%), need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (3.1%), and in-hospital mortality due to perioperative complications (4.7%). Documented 1-year mortality was 7%. Preoperative exercise capacity was predictive of 1-year mortality. Postoperative pulmonary vascular resistance predicted in-hospital and 1-year mortality. In patients evaluated within 1 year after surgery, the median pulmonary vascular resistance had decreased from 698 to 235 dyn.s.cm−5 (95% confidence limit, 640–874 and 211–255, respectively, n = 70) and the median 6-minute walk distance had increased from 362 to 459 m (95% confidence limit, 340–399 and 440–473, respectively, n = 168). New York Heart Association functional class improved with most patients progressing from class III/IV to class I/II. Conclusions Pulmonary endarterectomy is associated with a low in-hospital mortality rate and improvements in hemodynamics and exercise capacity.
Abstract Background Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common and morbid complication of left heart disease with 2 subtypes: isolated post-capillary pulmonary hypertension (Ipc-PH) and combined post-capillary and pre-capillary pulmonary hypertension (Cpc-PH). Little is known about the clinical or physiological characteristics that distinguish these 2 subphenotypes or if Cpc-PH shares molecular similarities to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Objectives The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that the hemodynamic and genetic profile of Cpc-PH would more closely resemble PAH than Ipc-PH. Methods Vanderbilt University’s electronic medical record linked to a DNA biorepository was used to extract demographic characteristics, clinical data, invasive hemodynamic data, echocardiography, and vital status for all patients referred for right heart catheterization between 1998 and 2014. Shared genetic variants between PAH and Cpc-PH compared with Ipc-PH were identified by using pre-existing single-nucleotide polymorphism data. Results A total of 2,817 patients with PH (13% Cpc-PH, 52% Ipc-PH, and 20% PAH) were identified. Patients with Cpc-PH were on average 6 years younger, with more severe pulmonary vascular disease than patients with Ipc-PH, despite similar comorbidities and prevalence, severity, and chronicity of left heart disease. After adjusting for relevant covariates, the risk of death was similar between the Cpc-PH and Ipc-PH groups (hazard ratio: 1.14; 95% confidence interval: 0.96 to 1.35; p = 0.15) when defined according to diastolic pressure gradient. We identified 75 shared exonic single-nucleotide polymorphisms between Cpc-PH and PAH enriched in pathways involving cell structure, extracellular matrix, and immune function. These genes are expressed, on average, 32% higher in lungs relative to other tissues. Conclusions Patients with Cpc-PH develop pulmonary vascular disease similar to patients with PAH, despite younger age and similar prevalence of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and left heart disease compared with patients with Ipc-PH. An exploratory genetic analysis in Cpc-PH identified genes and biological pathways in the lung known to contribute to PAH pathophysiology, suggesting that Cpc-PH may be a distinct and highly morbid PH subphenotype.
An important pathogenic mechanism in the development of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension is hypothesized to be a cancer-like cellular proliferation independent of haemodynamics. However, because the vascular lesions are inseparably coupled with haemodynamic stress, the fate of the lesions is unknown when haemodynamic stress is eliminated. We applied left pulmonary artery banding to a rat model with advanced pulmonary hypertension to investigate the effects of decreased haemodynamic stress on occlusive vascular lesions. Rats were given an injection of the VEGF blocker Sugen5416 and exposed to 3 weeks of hypoxia plus an additional 7 weeks of normoxia (total 10 weeks) (SU/Hx/Nx rats). The banding surgery to reduce haemodynamic stress to the left lung was done at 1 week prior to (preventive) or 5 weeks after (reversal) the SU5416 injection. All SU/Hx/Nx-exposed rats developed severe pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular hypertrophy. Histological analyses showed that the non-banded right lungs developed occlusive lesions including plexiform lesions with marked perivascular cell accumulation. In contrast, banding the left pulmonary artery not only prevented the development of but also reversed the established occlusive lesions as well as perivascular inflammation in the left lungs. Our results indicate that haemodynamic stress is prerequisite to the development and progression of occlusive neointimal lesions in this rat model of severe pulmonary hypertension. We conclude that perivascular inflammation and occlusive neointimal arteriopathy are driven by haemodynamic stress.
Lung transplant is a relatively recent procedure. In the case of idiopathic hypertension, there are improvements in the indications, the criteria for early remission, and post-transplant care. Survival after a transplant due to pulmonary arterial hypertension is reduced in the first three months compared with other aetiologies, but those who do survive have very similar rates to patients with other diseases. The patients must be referred early to centres that have the facilities to perform lung transplants in accordance with the recommendations of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation.