Delphi consensus recommendation for optimization of pulmonary hypertension therapy focusing on switching from a phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor to riociguat
Dual combination therapy with a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE5i) and endothelin receptor antagonist is recommended for most patients with intermediate-risk pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The RESPITE and REPLACE studies suggest that switching from a PDE5i to a soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) activator may provide clinical improvement in this situation. The optimal approach to escalation or transition of therapy in this or other scenarios is not well defined. We developed an expert consensus statement on the transition to sGC and other treatment escalations and transitions in PAH using a modified Delphi process. The Delphi process used a panel of 20 physicians with expertise in PAH. Panelists answered three questionnaires on the management of treatment escalations and transitions in PAH. The initial questionnaire included open-ended questions. Later questionnaires consolidated the responses into statements that panelists rated on a Likert scale from -5 (strongly disagree) to +5 (strongly agree) to determine consensus. The Delphi process produced several consensus recommendations. Escalation should be considered for patients who are at high risk or not achieving treatment goals, by adding an agent from a new class, switching from oral to parenteral prostacyclins, or increasing the dose. Switching to a new class or within a class should be considered if tolerability or other considerations unrelated to efficacy are affecting adherence. Switching from a PDE5i to an SGC activator may benefit patients with intermediate risk who are not improving on their present therapy. These consensus-based recommendations may be helpful to clinicians and beneficial for patients when evidence-based guidance is unavailable.
Advances in the management of pulmonary arterial hypertension
The management of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) has significantly evolved over the last decades in the wake of more sensitive diagnostics and specialized clinical programs that can provide focused medical care. In the current era of PAH care, 1-year survival rates have increased to 86%-90% from 65% in the 1980s, and average long-term survival has increased to 6 years from 2.8 years. The heterogeneity in the etiology and disease course has opened doors to focusing research in phenotyping the disease and understanding the pathophysiology at a cellular and genetic level. This may eventually lead to precision medicine and the development of medications that may prevent or reverse pulmonary vascular remodeling. With more insight, clinical trial designs and primary end-points may change to identify the true survival benefit of pharmacotherapy. Identifying responders from non-responders to therapy may help provide individualized patient-centered care rather than an algorithm-based approach. The purpose of this review is to highlight the latest advances in screening, diagnosis, and management of PAH.
Cor Pulmonale from Concomitant Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Methamphetamine Use [Case Report]
COVID-19 in Pulmonary Artery Hypertension (PAH) Patients: Observations from a Large PAH Center in New York City
Information on outcomes of COVID-19 in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients is limited to a few case series and surveys. Here, we describe our experience at a large Pulmonary Hypertension Center in New York City at the height of the pandemic. We performed a retrospective chart review of eleven consecutive PAH patients who were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. We analyzed demographics, PAH severity, risk factors for COVID-19, and COVID-19 severity and outcomes. We found in our sample that 63.6% of patients required intensive care, and there was a 45.45% overall mortality. Most patients had a known COVID-19 contact and mean duration of symptoms prior to presentation was 12 days. Only 4/11 (36%) patients presented to a center with pulmonary hypertension expertise, all of whom survived. Most patients had at least moderate pulmonary hypertension with an average REVEAL score of 7.81 despite double or triple PAH therapy. Our cases series underscores the gravity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with PAH. It also suggests possible interventions to prevent unfavorable outcomes such as preserving social distancing, PAH management optimization, and early and preferential presentation to a center with specialized expertise in PAH.
Imaging of Pulmonary Hypertension: Pictorial Essay
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is an end result of a diverse array of complex clinical conditions that invoke hemodynamic and pathophysiological changes in the pulmonary vasculature. Many patients' symptoms begin with dyspnea on exertion for which screening tests such as chest roentgenograms and more definitive noninvasive tests such as CT scans are ordered initially. It is imperative that clinicians are cognizant of subtle clues on these imaging modalities that alert them to the possibility of PH. These clues may serve as a stepping stone towards more advanced noninvasive (echocardiogram) and invasive (right heart catheterization) testing. On the CT scan, the signs are classified into mediastinal and lung parenchymal abnormalities. In addition to suspecting the diagnosis of PH, this paper provides a pictorial essay to guide health care professionals in identifying the etiology of PH. This paper also provides concrete definitions, wherever possible, of what constitutes abnormalities in PH, such as dilated pulmonary arteries, pruning of vessels, and increased thickness of free wall of the right ventricle. The sensitivities and specificities of each sign are enumerated. The common radiographic and clinical features of many different etiologies of PH are tabulated for the convenience of the readers. Some newer imaging modalities such as dual-energy CT of the chest that hold promise for the future are also described.
EXPRESS: Clinical and Hemodynamic Benefit of Macitentan and Riociguat Upfront Combination in Patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
DEVELOPMENT OF DOUBLE-CHAMBERED RIGHT VENTRICLE AFTER BILATERAL LUNG TRANSPLANTATION [Meeting Abstract]
Real-world experience with concomitant macitentan and riociguat treatment in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) in the OPsumit USers (OPUS) registry [Meeting Abstract]