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Chest. 2001 Sep;120(3):801-8.

Unexplained pulmonary hypertension in chronic myeloproliferative disorders.

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Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



To investigate the potential association between the chronic myeloid disorders (CMDs), including the chronic myeloproliferative disorders, and pulmonary hypertension (PH).


Retrospective chart review of patients who had received diagnoses of both CMD and PH. Patients with a known cause of PH were excluded. The diagnosis of a CMD was based on established criteria. The diagnosis of PH was based on echocardiographic data or right heart catheterization data.


Twenty-six patients satisfied the criteria for both a CMD and PH. Twelve patients had myeloid metaplasia with myelofibrosis (MMM), 5 patients had essential thrombocythemia (ET), 6 patients had polycythemia vera, 2 patients had a myelodysplastic syndrome, and 1 patient had chronic myeloid leukemia. Twenty-two patients (92%) received treatment for their CMDs, which included therapy with hydroxyurea (18 patients), anagrelide (7 patients), and busulfan (3 patients). PH was diagnosed a median of 8 years after recognition of the CMD (range, 0 to 26 years). The median right ventricular systolic pressure (RVsys) was 71 mm Hg (range, 32 to 105 mm Hg). RVsys correlated with the platelet count in patients with MMM (r = 0.30) and ET (r = 0.6) and with the hemoglobin levels in patients with PV (r = 0.77). Treatment of CMD did not seem to affect the severity of the pulmonary artery pressures as measured by serial echocardiography. With a median survival time of 18 months after the diagnosis of PH, the cause of death in the majority of the patients was cardiopulmonary.


The current study suggests a higher than expected incidence of PH in patients with MMM, PV, and ET. Prognosis in such a setting is poor and may not be influenced by aggressive treatment of the underlying hematologic disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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