Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Contribution of inflammation and impaired angiogenesis to the pathobiology of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.

Deficient angiogenesis and systemic inflammation could be involved in the pathophysiology of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). We aimed to characterise the histopathology of pulmonary vascular lesions from 52 CTEPH patients who underwent a pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) and investigate a potential link between clinical, biological and morphometric parameters.Collagen, elastin, fibrin, lipid, endothelial, smooth muscle and inflammatory cell content was investigated using immunohistochemistry. Qualitative changes were evaluated using severity scores. Circulating levels of inflammatory mediators were measured using ELISA.Neointima, thrombotic, recanalised and atherosclerotic lesions were found. Accumulation of macrophages, T-lymphocytes and neutrophils was found mainly in atherosclerotic and thrombotic lesions. Angiogenesis was observed in all kinds of lesions; low-scored angiogenesis predicted adverse outcome, including persistent pulmonary hypertension post-PEA, start of medical therapy and poor survival. C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-10, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 were significantly elevated in CTEPH patients. Plasma CRP and MMP-9 levels correlated with neutrophil and macrophage accumulation, respectively.Enhanced systemic inflammation parallels local inflammatory cell infiltration in major pulmonary arteries at advanced stages of CTEPH. Impaired neovascularisation is associated with poor survival, start of medical treatment and persistent pulmonary hypertension post-PEA. These findings suggest that inflammation and impaired angiogenesis could contribute to the progression of the disease.

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