Patients with sickle cell disease underwent ECG with assessment of tricuspid valve regurgitant jet velocity (TRJV) to screen for pulmonary hypertension, followed by right heart catheterization if the TRJV was 2.5 m per second or more. Prevalence was 27% on the basis of ECG criteria but only 6% on the basis of catheterization. In several studies, pulmonary hypertension, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension, has been reported as a frequent complication of sickle cell disease. 1 – 4 Pulmonary arterial hypertension is characterized by the presence of precapillary pulmonary hypertension in the absence of left-sided heart disease, lung disease, or chronic thromboembolism. On histopathological analysis, pulmonary arterial hypertension is characterized by the proliferation of medial smooth-muscle cells and endothelial cells in the small pulmonary arteries. 5 Pulmonary arterial hypertension may be idiopathic, heritable, or associated with other disorders, such as connective tissue diseases and congenital heart disease. 6 In the updated classification of pulmonary hypertension, sickle cell disease appears . . .
Objective Pulmonary endarterectomy is the treatment of choice for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. In many patients hemodynamics are normalized early after surgical intervention. However, the effect of residual pulmonary hypertension on postoperative clinical status and survival is unknown. Methods Data were collected prospectively on all patients who underwent pulmonary endarterectomy in a continuous national series between 1997 and December 2007. Postoperatively, patients underwent scheduled reinvestigation, including functional testing and right heart catheterization, at 3 months after the operation. They were divided into 2 groups based on mean pulmonary artery pressure: group 1, less than 30 mm Hg; group 2, 30 mm Hg or greater. Results Three hundred fourteen patients underwent pulmonary endarterectomy, survived to hospital discharge, and completed the 3-month follow-up period. At 3 months after pulmonary endarterectomy, there was a significant reduction in mean pulmonary artery pressure for the whole cohort (48 ± 12 to 26 ± 10 mm Hg, P < .001). However, 31% of the patients had residual pulmonary hypertension. Group 1 patients enjoyed significantly better exercise capacity and improved symptoms compared with group 2 patients. In addition, there were significantly fewer patients receiving targeted medical therapy in group 1 versus group 2 (0% vs 25%, P < .001). Conditional survival after discharge from the hospital for the whole cohort was 90.0% at 5 years and was not different between groups (90.3% for group 1 vs 89.9% for group 2, P = .36). Conclusions For patients undergoing pulmonary endarterectomy, survival after hospital discharge is excellent. Residual pulmonary hypertension significantly compromised symptom status and functional capacity but did not appear to adversely affect medium-term survival. The effect of targeted medical therapy in patients with residual pulmonary hypertension after pulmonary endarterectomy needs to be evaluated further.
Background Osteopontin (OPN) is a pleiotropic cytokine that has been postulated to play a role in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). OPN plasma levels may be related to disease severity and mortality in patients with PAH. Methods OPN plasma levels obtained during right-sided heart catheterization were assessed by a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and related to hemodynamics, exercise capacity, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) level, uric acid level, C-reactive protein level, and survival in two cohorts of patients with IPAH: a 4-year retrospective cohort (n = 70) and a prospective cohort (n = 25) followed for 3 months after initiation of therapy. Forty apparently healthy individuals served as control subjects. Results Baseline OPN levels were elevated in patients with IPAH compared with healthy control subjects (50.2 ± 35.9 vs 23.7 ± 2.8 ng/mL, P < .0001). In the retrospective as well as in the prospective cohort, OPN levels correlated with mean right atrial pressure and NT-BNP. In the retrospective cohort, OPN levels also correlated with age ( r = 0.3, P = .02), 6-min walking distance ( r =−0.4, P = .05), and New York Heart Association class ( r = 0.4, P = .001). Multivariate Cox analysis demonstrated that baseline OPN levels were independent predictors of mortality ( P = .02). When patients were divided according to their baseline OPN values, being normal or elevated at baseline (below or above 34.5 ng/mL), proportional survival rates were 100% vs 80% after 1 year and 77% vs 51% after 3 years, respectively. Conclusion Circulating OPN predicts survival in patients with IPAH and is associated with a higher New York Heart Association class. OPN, thus, may be useful as a biomarker in IPAH.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common causes of death worldwide. We report in an emphysema model of mice chronically exposed to tobacco smoke that pulmonary vascular dysfunction, vascular remodeling, and pulmonary hypertension (PH) precede development of alveolar destruction. We provide evidence for a causative role of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and peroxynitrite in this context. Mice lacking were protected against emphysema and PH. Treatment of wild-type mice with the iNOS inhibitor N -(1-iminoethyl)-L-lysine (L-NIL) prevented structural and functional alterations of both the lung vasculature and alveoli and also reversed established disease. In chimeric mice lacking in bone marrow (BM)-derived cells, PH was dependent on from BM-derived cells, whereas emphysema development was dependent on from non-BM-derived cells. Similar regulatory and structural alterations as seen in mouse lungs were found in lung tissue from humans with end-stage COPD. ► ( ) loss protects mice from smoke-induced emphysema ► Pulmonary hypertension is dependent on iNOS activity in bone marrow-derived cells ► Emphysema is dependent on iNOS activity in non-BM-derived cells ► The iNOS inhibitor L-N6-(1-iminoethyl)-lysine improves established emphysema in mice Smoking-related damage can be reversed by inhibition of iNOS.
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.
Right heart failure is the cause of death of most patients with severe pulmonary arterial hypertensive (PAH) disorders, yet little is known about the cellular and molecular causes of right ventricular failure (RVF). We first showed a differential gene expression pattern between normal rat right and left ventricles, and postulated the existence of a molecular right heart failure program that distinguishes RVF from adaptive right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH), and that may differ in some respects from a left heart failure program. By means of microarrays and transcriptional sequencing strategies, we used two models of adaptive RVH to characterize a gene expression pattern reflective of growth and the maintenance of myocardial structure. Moreover, two models of RVF were associated with fibrosis, capillary rarefaction, the decreased expression of genes encoding the angiogenesis factors vascular endothelial growth factor, insulin-like growth factor 1, apelin, and angiopoeitin-1, and the increased expression of genes encodinga set of glycolytic enzymes. The treatment of established RVF with a beta-adrenergic receptor blocker reversed RVF, and partly reversed the molecular RVF program. We conclude that normal right and left ventricles demonstrate clearly discernable differences in the expression of mRNA and microRNA, and that RVH and RVF are characterized by distinct patterns of gene expression that relate to cell growth, angiogenesis, and energy metabolism.
Neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) is a rare genetic disease caused by mutations in the NF1 gene, which codes for tumor suppressor neurofibromin. NF1 is transmitted as an autosomal dominant and fully penetrant trait with no sex predominance. Precapillary pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a severe complication of NF1, initially described in patients with advanced parenchymal lung disease, which may complicate the course of NF1. We conducted this study to describe clinical, functional, radiologic, and hemodynamic characteristics and outcome of patients with NF1-associated PH. We identified 8 new cases of NF1-associated PH in patients carrying a NF1 gene mutation. No bone morphogenic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) point mutation or large size rearrangements were identified. Seven female patients and 1 male patient were reported, suggesting a possible female predominance. PH occurred late in the course of the disease (median age, 62 yr; range, 53-68 yr). Dyspnea and signs of right heart failure were the major symptoms leading to the diagnosis of PH. At diagnosis, patients had severe hemodynamic impairment with low cardiac index (median, 2.3 L/min per m(2); range, 1.9-4.7) and elevated indexed pulmonary vascular resistance (median, 15.1 mm Hg/L/min per m2; range, 4.5-25.9). All patients were in New York Heart Association functional class III with severe exercise limitation (median 6-min walk distance, 180 m; range, 60-375 m). Most patients had associated parenchymal lung disease, but some had no or mild lung involvement with disproportionate pulmonary vascular disease. Overall, the impact of PH therapy was limited and outcomes were poor. In conclusion, PH represents a rare but severe complication of NF1, characterized by female predominance, late onset in the course of NF1, and severe functional and hemodynamic impairment. Because of poor outcome and limited impact of specific PH therapy, eligible patients require early referral for lung transplantation. Further studies are needed to better understand the pathophysiology and the role, if any, of neurofibromin in NF1-associated PH.
Background Stroke volume is probably the best hemodynamic parameter because it reflects therapeutic changes and contains prognostic information in pulmonary hypertension (PH). Stroke volume directly reflects right ventricular function in response to its load, without the correction of compensatory increased heart rate as is the case for cardiac output. For this reason, stroke volume, which can be measured noninvasively, is an important hemodynamic parameter to monitor during treatment. However, the extent of change in stroke volume that constitutes a clinically significant change is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the minimal important difference (MID) in stroke volume in PH. Methods One hundred eleven patients were evaluated at baseline and after 1 year of follow-up with a 6-min walk test (6MWT) and cardiac MRI. Using the anchor-based method with 6MWT as the anchor, and the distribution-based method, the MID of stroke volume change could be determined. Results After 1 year of treatment, there was, on average, a significant increase in stroke volume and 6MWT. The change in stroke volume was related to the change in 6MWT. Using the anchor-based method, an MID of 10 mL in stroke volume was calculated. The distribution-based method resulted in an MID of 8 to 12 mL. Conclusions Both methods showed that a 10-mL change in stroke volume during follow-up should be considered as clinically relevant. This value can be used to interpret changes in stroke volume during clinical follow-up in PH.