Current therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension

Shanon Takaoka, John L Faul, Ramona Doyle
Seminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia 2007, 11 (2): 137-48
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive disease of the pulmonary vasculature, characterized by relentless deterioration and death. Patients with PAH are known to be at increased risk for anesthetic complications and surgical morbidity and mortality. However, outcomes in patients have improved with the recent development of new drug therapies. The 3 major drug classes for treatment of PAH are prostanoids, endothelin-receptor antagonists, and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. In this review, the authors provide an overview of each drug class, its mechanism of action, indications, and current supportive literature. Surgical and interventional treatments of PAH, including atrial septostomy, pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, and transplantation, are briefly reviewed, and the rationale, indications, and selection criteria for each are discussed. Although available medical and surgical therapies for PAH have improved patient outcomes, acute decompensated right heart failure (RHF) remains a common and challenging complication of PAH. The authors review this topic and provide an outline of the general pathophysiology of RHF and an approach to its management.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"