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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2002 June;50(3):175-88

language: English

Developments in therapeutics for pulmonary arterial hypertension

Wilkins M. R., Møller G. M. O., Ren X., Wharton J.


For many years, the management of pulmonary hypertension has been frustrated by an inadequate understanding of its pathology and limited therapeutic options, but this is changing rapidly. Recently, novel insight into the pathogenesis of primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) has been provided by the demonstration of mutations in BMPR2 and ALK-1 genes in a significant number of patients with the condition. These genes encode members of the TGF-b receptor superfamily and their integrity is important in the maintenance of normal pulmonary vascular structure and function. At the same time, there has been a major advance in the treatment of the condition due to development of 2 orally active pharmacological agents, bosentan and sildenafil, which demonstrate some selectivity for the pulmonary vasculature. This review examines how the management of PPH and severe pulmonary hypertension in associated diseases has changed and looks at exciting future developments.

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