Use of pulmonary arterial hypertension approved therapy in the treatment of nongroup 1 pulmonary hypertension at US referral centers

PVRI Member Authors: John H. Newman, Anna Hemnes


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a frequent complication of left heart disease and parenchymal lung disease, and it portends increased mortality. A growing number of medications are approved for the treatment of World Health Organization (WHO) group 1 pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, they are not well studied in PH of other etiologies (WHO groups 2–5). We sought to assess treatment approaches used by PAH referral centers in this diverse group of patients. We developed a semiquantitative online survey designed to evaluate the use of PAH-approved therapy by pulmonary vascular disease centers in the United States for management of non–group 1 PH. Thirty of 50 centers completed the survey. Almost all centers (93%) reported using PAH therapy for patients with non–group 1 PH, including 77% with group 2 PH and 80% with group 3 PH. Elevated transpulmonary gradient or pulmonary vascular resistance and the presence of right ventricular (RV) dysfunction were commonly cited as supporting use of PAH therapy in patients with PH secondary to left heart disease. For patients with PH and concomitant parenchymal lung disease, degree of pulmonary function impairment and RV dysfunction were most important in influencing use of PAH therapy. In conclusion, pulmonary vascular disease treatment centers use PAH-approved therapy for patients with WHO group 2–5 PH, mostly relying on hemodynamics and assessment of RV function to identify candidates for therapy. Clinical trials designed to test the efficacy of PAH therapy in PH due to left heart and lung disease are needed, as clinical practice has extended beyond the evidence for these etiologies of PH.

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Health Education/ Disease Prevention/ Patient Education
Heart Arrest/ Block/ Defects/ Diseases/ Failure/ Rate/ Infarction
Pulmonary Hypertension


Aaron W. Trammell, Meredith E. Pugh, John H. Newman, Anna R. Hemnes, Ivan M. Robbins

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Pulmonary Circulation Vol 5: No 2 cover image

June 2015

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 5: No 2

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