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Chest. 2010 Jun;137(6 Suppl):20S-29S. doi: 10.1378/chest.10-0048.

Schistosomiasis-associated pulmonary hypertension: pulmonary vascular disease: the global perspective.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.

Abstract

Inflammation is likely a critical underlying etiology in many forms of severe pulmonary hypertension (PH), and schistosomiasis-associated PH, one of the most common causes of PH worldwide, is likely driven by the host response to parasite antigens. More than 200 million people are infected with schistosomiasis, the third most common parasitic disease, and approximately 1% of those chronically infected develop PH. Acute cutaneous infection causes inflammation at the site of parasite penetration followed by a subacute immune complex-mediated hypersensitivity response as the parasite migrates through the lungs. Chronic schistosomiasis infection induces a granulomatous inflammation around ova deposited in the tissue. In particular, Schistosoma mansoni migrates to the portal venous system and causes preportal fibrosis in a subset of individuals and appears to be a prerequisite for PH. Portal hypertension facilitates shunting of ova from the portal system to the pulmonary arterial tree, resulting in localized periovular pulmonary granulomas. The pulmonary vascular remodeling is likely a direct consequence of the host inflammatory response, and portopulmonary hypertension may be a significant contributor. New specific therapies available for PH have not been widely tested in patients with schistosomiasis and often are unavailable for those infected in resource-poor areas of the world where schistosomiasis is endemic. Furthermore, the current PH therapies in general target vasodilation rather than vascular remodeling and inflammation. Further research is needed into the pathogenic mechanism by which this parasitic infection results in pulmonary vascular remodeling and PH, which also may be informative regarding the etiology of other types of PH.

PMID:
20522577
PMCID:
PMC5989787
DOI:
10.1378/chest.10-0048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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