PVRI World Congress: Coming together to fight pulmonary vascular disease

PVRI Member Authors: Sachindra Joshi

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it”. Wise words from Halford Edward Luccock (1885–1961), a prominent professor of Homiletics at Yale’s Divinity School. These words certainly ring true for the mission of the PVRI, as the fight against pulmonary vascular disease (PVD) is overwhelming and impossible with one individual effort. Instead, it will take the communal effort of many pulmonary vascular disease (PVD) professionals. This community includes clinicians, basic scientists, regulatory bodies, pharmaceutical industries and even patients. PVRI is the family of PVD professionals from around the globe, and they come together, hand in hand, to fight against PVD. Their coming together can be witnessed in the steady increase of PVRI membership, which now consists of over 760 fellows from around the globe. Their active participation in the fight against the pulmonary vascular disease grows stronger every day.

In July 2014, this resulted in a collaboration between the PVRI and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which in turn launched the First Annual Drug Discovery and Development Symposium for Pulmonary Hypertension at the National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. Global experts on PVD, right heart failure, and clinical trial designs joined members of the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory authorities to discuss and identify the most promising treatments for future development in the field. The PVRI and the FDA were gratified that the goals of the meeting were accomplished and are looking forward to having similar annual event next year in Europe. In 2014, the PVRI Chronicle was evolved as a natural progression in the PVRI publication initiative following the success of the PVRI Review. From its first issue, we envisioned PVRI Chronicle to be a professional journal dedicated to news, discussions, science and medicine in the field of PVD around the globe. The response to our first volume of issues, published in January and July 2014, was encouraging. We are thankful for the active participation from members of the PVRI Young Council. We are equally appreciative for the feedback and suggestions for improvement from the eminent scholars in the field of PVD, many of which we are incorporating. One of such improvement is replacing section “Patients’ Corner” by “Clinical Corner”. The new “Clinical Corner” section will better represent all the clinical aspects of PVD including patients’ perspectives, clinicians’ perspective, case studies and clinical trials as suggested by Professor Ghazwan Butrous.

 This issue includes an interview with eminent scholar Professor Xiansheng Cheng, in which he presents an early history of the clinical and experimental research of pulmonary vascular disease in China. According to Professor Cheng, the structural and/or functional disorders of the whole or local pulmonary circulation in pulmonary vascular disease is a result of primary or secondary pulmonary vascular lesions. Despite tremendous research over the years, we still lack classification of PVDs and Professor Xiansheng Cheng suggests that the PVRI should take a broader view to explore the whole spectrum of pulmonary vascular disorders and establish the classification of PVDs. For the Journal club section, we have selected two interactive discussions covering cold-induced pulmonary hypertension and antioxidants in pulmonary vascular disease. The Learner’s Corner presents a review article on the association between obesity and pulmonary hypertension; a commentary on PH and the developing world; a perspective on pulmonary vascular research in Nepal; and a Did You Know article on the discovery of the pulmonary circulation. The Clinical Corner holds a report on challenges for Greek PH patients in time of crisis; a case report on the potential association of sildenafil administration with third (III) cranial nerve palsy in the pulmonary arterial hypertension patient; and an interview with a patient suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension.

PVD is an outcome of the numerous abnormalities in the intricate network of pulmonary vasculature. Since the discovery of the assortment of diseases that are referred to as pulmonary vascular disorders, several anomalies have been associated with the pathogenesis of pulmonary vascular disease. These include vasoconstriction, thrombosis, fibrosis, inflammation, and endothelial and smooth muscle dysfunction, which are mediated by microRNAs, lipid mediators, reactive oxygen species, progenitors cells and the list goes on and on with one broad pathological outcome - the pulmonary vascular disease. For such complex events in the pathogenesis of PVD, a particular event alone is not adequate for the pathological outcome. Likewise, to resolve the pathology of the PVD, a particular discovery alone is not sufficient. It takes an array of discoveries with honest, robust and careful integration. In that context, the PVRI World Congress is an effort of the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute to bring together the PVD professionals to present their discoveries, and to encourage discussion and debate towards the fruitful integration of the outcomes to fight pulmonary vascular disease. PVRI Chronicle will play its vital role in sharing news, discussions, science and medicine from the PVRI among the clinicians, basic scientists, regulatory bodies, pharmaceutical industries and even patients.

As we move into our second year of the PVRI publications initiative, we are one step closer to bringing awareness of pulmonary vascular disease and reducing the PVD associated mortality. Most importantly, in the words of Henry Ford, “coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”, so let us join hand in hand and work together. 

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PVRI Chronicle Vol 2: Issue 1 cover image

January 2015

PVRI Chronicle Vol 2: Issue 1

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