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Respirology. 2002 Mar;7(1):3-13.

Pulmonary hypertension in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: recent advances in pathophysiology and management.

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Health Administration Center, Department of Informatics on Pathophysiology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Information Sciences, Sendai, Japan.


In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary hypertension (PH) is associated with a worse prognosis. Recently, information has been increasing concerning the cellular and molecular aspects of the pathophysiology of PH in COPD. The most striking finding is the role of vascular endothelial cells and endogenous mediators released by these cells. Endothelial cell-dependent relaxation is impaired in COPD patients with PH. Moreover, vascular remodelling in these patients is mainly responsible for irreversible PH in advanced COPD. Smoking cessation will slow down the progression of the disease process and may prevent the development of PH in COPD. The timing of initiation of long-term oxygen therapy is important for the effective management of PH in COPD. Research on therapeutic agents for the effective treatment of PH is still needed in the management aspect of patients with COPD. This review focuses on the recent advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of PH in COPD.

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