Clinical advances in pulmonary arterial hypertension: the year in review

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to summarize the last year of literature developments in the field of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), with a focus on clinical research.

Recent findings

Pulmonary vascular research has expanded rapidly over the last decade, resulting in a change in the treatment strategy for PAH. Epidemiologic data from recent registries suggest that patients with PAH are increasing in age and comorbidities. In the modern treatment era, risk stratification for early mortality is increasingly used to guide clinicians in the choice of pulmonary vasodilator therapy. Risk-score calculators have been published and validated for PAH, currently in both the United States and Europe. In addition to increased comorbidities, pulmonary hypertension centers are encountering complicated management situations in these patients, such as pregnancy. Current data suggest that mortality for pregnant pulmonary hypertension patients remains high, although not as high as historical reports. Oral prostacyclin and prostacyclin agonist therapies are currently under investigation to aid in the management of these patients.

Summary

Despite treatment advances, mortality remains high for PAH patients. Careful evaluation and risk stratification will help guide the appropriate treatment for PAH patients. Additional therapies are on the horizon for the management of this progressive disease.

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