pulmonary hypertension DR MD TOUFIQURRAHMAN cardiologist FACC FRCP


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pulmonary hypertension DR MD TOUFIQURRAHMAN cardiologist FACC FRCP


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Pulmonary Hypertension :

Pulmonary Hypertension DR MD TOUFIQUR RAHMAN MBBS,FCPS, MD, FACC, FRCPE, FAHA, FAPSIC, FSCAI, FESC, FAPSC, FCCP, FRCPG Associate professor of cardiology , NICVD drtoufiq19711@yahoo.com

Case Scenario 1:

Case Scenario 1 A 55 years old lady presented with shortness of breath  on exertion for last 5 years. She was being treated as bronchial asthma by local family physician. Her ECG showed sinus tachycardia with right ventricular hypertrophy.   CXR P/A view showed cardiomegaly with full of pulmonary conus . What would be next investigation?

Case Scenario 1:

Echocardiogram showed  atrial septal defect with RA & RV dilated with pulmonary hypertension (PASP-97 mm Hg). Case Scenario 1


Figure 2 Journal of the Saudi Heart Association  2013 25, 219-223DOI: (10.1016/j.jsha.2012.12.001) Case Scenario 1

Case scenario 2:

Case scenario 2 A35 years old lady presented with shortness of breath for last 3 years. She was being treated as bronchial asthma by local family physician. Her ECG showed atrial fibrillation,  CXR P/A view showed cardiomegaly . What would be next investigation?

Case scenario 2:

Echocardiogram showed mitral stenosis severe(MVA-0.8cm2) with pulmonary hypertension (PASP-68 mm hg). Case scenario 2


A 25-year-old pregnant woman presented with severe shortness of breath. Her echocardiogram showed severe right ventricular hypertrophy with dilatation and Moderate right ventricular systolic dysfunction. Right ventricle systolic pressure (RVSP) was estimated to be 125 mm Hg. Pulmonary artery pressures measured by a pulmonary artery catheter were 102 mm Hg and pulmonary vascular resistance was 429. Case scenario 3


Figure 3 Journal of the Saudi Heart Association  2013 25, 219-223DOI: (10.1016/j.jsha.2012.12.001) Case scenario 3


A 29-year old, 70-kg woman presented to hospital with right upper quadrant pain, which had worsened over the course of a week. She subsequently received a diagnosis of acute cholecystitis and was scheduled for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Her past history included longstanding asthma . She had no drug allergies. For pre-operative anaesthesia fitness check up ECG showed RAD and CXR showed cardiomegaly with fullness of pulmonary conus. Anaesthetist referred to cardiologist for evaluation. What will be the next investigation and management? Case Scenario 4


Case Scenario 4


Case Scenario 5 A 35 years old lady presented with shortness of breath for last 3 years and it was increasing in severity day by day . ECG showed right ventricular hypertrophy , RAD CXR P/A view showed full of pulmonary conus with cardiomegaly. Echocardiography showed RA, RV dilated , no abnormal flow across IAS and IVS , No PDA flow, PASP-80 mm Hg . What will be the next investigation?


Case Scenario 6 A 65 years old gentleman presented with bilateral leg swelling , abdominal swelling and shortness of breath for last 10 years .He was being treated with several inhalers with other anti-asthmatic drugs. His JVP was raised , hepatomegaly present, bilateral leg edema. ECG showed p pulmonale, sinus tachycardia, poor progression of R wave V1-V5, CXR showed tubular, elongated heart. Echocardiography showed RA, RV dilated, PASP-65mm Hg. What will be the next investigation? What was the probable diagnosis?

Table of Contents:

Table of Contents Definition Classification of PH Pathology & Pathophysiology Approach to diagnosis Treatment Follow-up.

Definition of PAH by WHO :

Definition of PAH by WHO Increase in blood pressure in pulmonary circulation ( either in the arteries, or both in arteries and veins) Normal pressure is 14-18mmHg at rest. 20-25mmHg on exercise. Hemodynamically it is defined as an increase in mean pulmonary arterial pressure to >-25mmHg at rest. Can be measured by right heart catheterization.


Two definitions of PH that were previously accepted are no longer used. Mean pulmonary artery pressure >30 mmHg with exercise (measured by right heart catheterization) Estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure >40 mmHg (estimated by Doppler echocardiography)

WHO Classifications of Pulmonary Hypertension:

WHO Classifications of Pulmonary Hypertension Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Pulmonary Hypertension owing to left heart disease PH Secondary to Chronic Hypoxemia Chronic Thrombo -Embolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) Miscellaneous (usually extrinsic compression of pulmonary arteries) WHO Venice 2003 – Later updated in 2008 (Dana point)

Epidemiology of PH:

Epidemiology of PH


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – A review of eight studies estimated that the prevalence of mild PH is 15 to 20 % among patients with OSA ( Cardiovascular effects of obstructive sleep apnea –up to date)

Group 1 - PAH:

Group 1 - PAH IPAH Familial – BMPR2, ALK 1,Unknown Associated with PAH Connective Tissue Disease (Scleroderma, SLE, MCTD, RA) Congenital Heart Disease Portal hypertension (5-7% of patients) HIV (0.5% of patients) Drugs/toxins ( aminorex -, dexfenfluramine-, or fenfluramine -containing products, cocaine, methamphetamine) Other: hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia , hemoglobinopathies , myeloproliferative disorders, splenectomy Associated with venous/capillary involvement Pulmonary veno -occlusive disease (evidence of pulmonary vascular congestion) Pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis Persistent PH of newborn.


Group 2: Pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disease Systolic dysfunction Diastolic dysfunction Valvular disease Group 3: Pulmonary hypertension associated with lung disease and/or hypoxemia Chronic obstructive lung disease Interstitial lung disease Sleep-disordered breathing Alveolar hypoventilation disorders Chronic exposure to high altitude Developmental abnormalities


Group 4: Pulmonary hypertension due to chronic thrombotic and/or embolic disease Thromboembolic obstruction of proximal pulmonary arteries Thromboembolic obstruction of distal pulmonary arteries Group 5: Miscellaneous Sarcoidosis , histiocytosis X, lymphangiomyomatosis , compression of pulmonary vessels ( adenopathy , tumor, fibrosing mediastinitis , thyroid disorders, glycogen storage disease, Gaucher’s disease,

Pathogenesis of Pulmonary ArterialHypertension:

Pathogenesis of Pulmonary ArterialHypertension

Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 1:

Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 1 Exact mechanism – unknown. Multifactorial . 1)Excessive vasoconstriction -abnormal function or expression of potassium channels in the smooth muscle cells . 2) Endothelial dysfunction leads to chronically impaired production of vasodilator and Vasoconstrictors (NO, prostacyclin , thromboxane A2 and endothelin-1)


Reduced plasma levels of other vasodilator and antiproliferative substances such as vasoactive intestinal peptide In the adventitia there is increased production of extracellular matrix including collagen, elastin , fibronectin . Inflammatory cells and platelets (through the serotonin pathway) Prothrombotic abnormalities have been demonstrated in PAH patients, and thrombi are present in both the small distal pulmonary arteries and the proximal elastic pulmonary arteries


Tunica media hypertrophy Tunica intima proliferation Fibrotic changes of tunica intima concentric eccentric 4.Tunica adventitial thickening with moderate perivascular infiltrates 5. Complex lesions Plexiform Dilated 6. Thrombotic lesions.

Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 2:

Due to lt. heart diseases: Pulmonary venous hypertension-most common cause Usually due to left-sided heart disease ( valvular , coronary or myocardial),  obstruction to blood flow downstream from the pulmonary veins. Reversibility is variable, dependent on lesion. Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 2

Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 3:

, PH due to lung diseases and/or hypoxia: Multiple 1) hypoxic vasoconstriction, 2) mechanical stress of hyperinflated lungs, 3) loss of capillaries – emphysema, fibrosis 4) inflammation, and toxic effects of cigarette smoke. 5)endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor–vasodilator imbalance. Hypoxia induced pulmonary vasoconstriction and anatomical destruction of the vascular bed due to high pulmonary resistance and ultimately RV failure. Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 3

Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 4:

CTEPH: non-resolution of acute embolic masses which later undergo fibrosis leading to mechanical obstruction of pulmonary arteries is the most important process. Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 4

Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 5:

PH with unclear and/or multifactorial mechanisms. Pathophysiology & Pathology – Group 5

Drugs and toxins known to induce PAH:

Drugs and toxins known to induce PAH

Reasons to Suspect PAH:

Reasons to Suspect PAH Unexplained dyspnea despite multiple diagnostic tests Typical symptoms (look for Raynaud’s ) Comorbid conditons : CREST, liver disease, HIV, sickle cell, OSA Family history of PAH History of stimulant/ anorexigen use

Symptoms of PAH :

Symptoms of PAH Dyspnea 60% Fatigue 19% Near syncope/syncope 13% Chest pain 7% Palpitations 5% LE edema 3% Hoarseness of voice 2% ( Ortners syndrome)

Physical Exam Findings in PH:

Physical Exam Findings in PH

Diagnostic Work-up of PAH:

Diagnostic Work-up of PAH


Labs Autoimmune serologies Markers of liver synthetic function HIV serologies when dictated by history

CXR in PH:

CXR in PH Large central Pulmonary arteries Right Ventricular Hypertrophy Rapid attenuation of pulmonary vessels Clear Lung Fields

ECG in PH:

ECG in PH Right axis deviation An R wave/S wave ratio greater than one in lead V1 Incomplete or complete right bundle branch block Increased P wave amplitude in lead II (P pulmonale ) due to right atrial enlargement


Echocardiogram Order for screening when clinical suspicion exists Order for standard interval screening in selected groups: Family of those with IPAH or with known BMPR2 mutation Scleroderma spectrum Pre-liver transplant

Echocardiogram Findings:

Echocardiogram Findings TR Right atrial and ventricular hypertrophy Flattening of interventricular septum Small LV dimension Dilated PA Pericardial effusion Poor prognostic sign RA pressure so high it impedes normal drainage from pericardium Do not drain, usually does not induce tamponade since RV under high-pressure and non-collapsible

Right Heart Catheterization:

Right Heart Catheterization RA <6 RV <30/6 PA <30/12 PCWP <12 Pulmonary Vascular Resistance Cardiac Output by the Fick Equation


Mean PAP pressure At rest: >25mmHg With exercise: >30mmHg Wedge Pressure: <15mmHg Pulmonary Vascular Resistance: > 240 dynes-cm-sec -5

Always Rule out CTEPH:

Must be excluded in every case of PAH Potentially surgically remediable V/Q scan is preferred screening test CT pulmonary angiography Always Rule out CTEPH

Vasoreactivity Testing During RHC:

Vasoreactivity Testing During RHC Inhaled Nitric Oxide (NO) is a preferential pulmonary arterial vasodilator Positive if: Mean PAP decreases at least 10 mmHg and to a value less than 40 mmHg Associated increased or unchanged cardiac output Minimally reduced or unchanged systemic blood pressure Only patients with Positive Vasoreactivity are given treatment trials with Calcium Channel Blockers!

Why Treat PAH?:

Why Treat PAH?


Registry to Evaluate Early and Long-term PAH Disease Management REVEAL Registry PAH risk score calculator. Calculated risk scores can range from 0 (lowest risk) to 22 (highest risk).  

Poor prognostic factors:

Poor prognostic factors Age >45 years (WHO) functional class III or IV Failure to improve to a lower WHO functional class during treatment Echocardiographic findings of a pericardial effusion, large right atrial size, elevated right atrial pressure, or septal shift during diastole Decreased pulmonary arterial capacitance ( ie , the stroke volume divided by the pulmonary arterial pulse pressure) Increased N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide level (NT-pro-BNP) Prolonged QRS duration Hypocapnia Comorbid conditions ( eg , COPD, diabetes)

Who do we treat for PAH?:

Who do we treat for PAH? Treatment is based on functional status New York Heart Association Functional Classification Class 1: No symptoms with ordinary physical activity. Class 2: Symptoms with ordinary activity. Slight limitation of activity. Class 3: Symptoms with less than ordinary activity. Marked limitation of activity. Class 4: Symptoms with any activity or even at rest.

How do we Treat Them?:

How do we Treat Them? General measures: Avoid pregnancy Contraception imperative Maternal mortality 30% Immunizations for respiratory illnesses Influenza & pneumonia vaccinations Minimize valsalva maneuvers—increase risk of syncope Cough, constipation, heavy lifting, etc

Classes of therapy :

Classes of therapy MEDICAL Diuretics Anti coagulants (IPAH) Digoxin Oxygen PAH specific therapy SURGICAL THERAPY Atrial septostomy Lung transplantation


Diuretics Principally to treat edema from right heart failure May need to combine classes - Thiazide and loop diuretics Careful to avoid too much pre-load reduction Patients often require large doses of diuretics


Anticoagulants Studies only show benefit in IPAH patients, based on improved survival. Other PAH groups not as clear, use in them considered expert opinion. Generally, keep INR 2.0-2.5. Thought to lessen in-situ thrombosis


Oxygen Formal assessment of nocturnal and exertional oxygenation needs. Minimize added insult of hypoxic vasoconstriction Keep oxygen saturation ≥90% May be impossible with large right to left shunt Exclude nocturnal desaturation Overnight oximetry Rule out concomitant obstructive sleep apnea and hypoventilation syndromes

PAH-Specific Therapies:

PAH-Specific Therapies Calcium channel blockers Endothelin receptor antagonists (ERAs)— Bosentan , Sitaxsentan , Ambrisentan Phosphodiesterase (type 5) inhibitors (PDE 5-I)— Sildenafil , Tadalafil , Vardenafil . Prostanoids— Epoprostenol , Treprostinil , Iloprost Guanylate cyclase stimulant- Riociguat

Calcium Channel Blockers:

Calcium Channel Blockers Use only when demonstrated vasoreactivity in RHC (about 10% or less of patients) Diltiazem or nifedipine preferred. Titrate up to maximum tolerated dose. Systemic hypotension may prohibit use Only 50% of patients maintain response to CCB. Not in FC IV patients or severe right heart failure

Endothelin Receptor Antagonists (ETRA):

Endothelin Receptor Antagonists (ETRA) Targets relative excess of endothelin-1 by blocking receptors on endothelium and vascular smooth muscle Bosentan , Ambrisentan , Sitaxentan , Macitentan Ambrisentan is ET-A selective. Both show improvement in 6MWD and time to clinical worsening. Monthly transaminase monitoring required for both Annual cost is high


Potential for serious liver injury (including very rare cases of unexplained hepatic cirrhosis after prolonged treatment) Oral dosing Initiate at 62.5 mg BID for first 4 weeks Increase to maintenance dose of 125 mg BID thereafter Initiation and maintenance dose of 62.5 mg BID recommended for patients >12 years of age with body weight >40kg No dose adjustment required in patients with renal impairment No predetermined dose adjustments required for concomitant warfarin administration.


Ambrisentan 5 or 10 mg once daily Much less risk of transaminase elevation (about 1%), but monthly monitoring still required No dose adjustment of warfarin needed.

PDE-5 inhibitors:

PDE-5 inhibitors


Sildenafil Safety Side effects: headaches, epistaxis , and hypotension (transient) Sudden hearing loss Drug interaction with nitrates FDA approved dose is 20 mg TID Tadalafil 40mg OD Vardenafil 5mg OD

Prostacyclin analogues:

Prostacyclin analogues Epoprostenol , treprostinil , iloprost Benefits Vasodilation Platelet inhibition Anti-proliferative effects Inotropic effects


Epoprostenol First PAH specific therapy available in the mid 1990’s Lack of acute vasodilator response does not correlate well with epoprostenol unresponsiveness. Very short half life = 2 minutes Delivered via continuous infusion Cost about $100,000/year


Epoprostenol Side effects: headache, jaw pain, flushing, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, flu-like symptoms, and anxiety/nervousness Complex daily preparation Individualized dosing Catheter complications Dislodgement/malfunction Catastrophic deterioration Embolization Infection (3% deaths)

Treprostinil (Remodulin):

Treprostinil ( Remodulin ) Continuous subcutaneous infusion or IV infusion Longer t1/2 = 4 hours Less risk of rapid fatal deterioriation if infusion stops


Treprostinil Intravenous treprostinil Hemodynamic improvements and 6MWD improvements No site pain Risk of catheter related bloodstream infection and embolic phenomenon Recent concerns about increased gram-negative bloodstream infections.

Iloprost :

Iloprost Inhaled prostacyclin Administered 6-9 times daily via special nebulizer Reported risk of morning syncope


Iloprost Improvements in 6MW, functional class and hemodynamics observed Olschewski H et al. N Engl J Med 2002;347:322-29 Safety and side effects Potential for increased hypotensive effect with antihypertensives Increased risk of bleeding, especially with co-administration of anticoagulants Flushing, increased cough, headache, insomnia Nausea, vomiting, flu-like syndrome Increased liver enzymes

Guanylate cyclase stimulant:

Guanylate cyclase stimulant   Stimulators of the nitric oxide receptor. Dual mode of action. They increase the sensitivity of sGC to endogenous nitric oxide (NO) Directly stimulate the receptor to mimic the action of NO. Riociguat  is an oral sGC stimulant that has reported benefit in patients with inoperable and persistent chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH;

Failure of Medical Therapy: Consider Atrial Septostomy:

Failure of Medical Therapy: Consider Atrial Septostomy Improved left-sided filling Decreased right-sided pressures May serve as bridge to transplant

Failure of Medical Therapy: Indications for Lung Transplant:

Failure of Medical Therapy: Indications for Lung Transplant New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III or IV Mean right atrial pressure >10 mmHg Mean pulmonary arterial pressure >50 mmHg Failure to improve functionally despite medical therapy Rapidly progressive disease

ACCP 2007 Treatment Guidelines:

ACCP 2007 Treatment Guidelines

Following Response to Therapy:

Following Response to Therapy Six minute walk test Echocardiogram Right heart catheterization BNP Functional class

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