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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-11

Pulmonary arterial hypertension: Advances in pathophysiology and management

1 Department of Cardiology, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India
2 Department of Pharmacology, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dinesh K Badyal
Department of Pharmacology, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.91858

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Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a heterogeneous, hemodynamic, and pathophysiological state which is commonly found throughout the world, but the disease burden is greater in India and in other developing countries. It is a disease characterized by vascular obstruction and vasoconstriction leading to progressive increase in pulmonary vascular resistance and right ventricular failure. PAH is a progressive disorder carrying a poor prognosis; however, dramatic progress has occurred in our knowledge of its pathogenesis and consequently, its treatment over the last two decades. In this article, we attempt to provide an overview of the etiology, pathophysiology, and current therapeutic modalities in the treatment of PAH. Patients suspected to have PAH should be submitted to a battery of investigations which help in establishing the diagnosis, identifying the etiology, guiding in treatment and informing the prognosis. All patients should be considered for standard therapy with oxygen, anticoagulation, and diuretics for right heart failure. Oral calcium channel blockers should be used in patients with a favorable response to acute vasodilator challenge. Disease targeted therapies include prostacyclines, endothelin receptor blockers, and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. A brief mention of new and potential therapeutic strategies is also included.


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