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Eur Heart J. 2010 Aug;31(15):1898-907. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehq170. Epub 2010 Jun 11.

Long-term response to calcium-channel blockers in non-idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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Univ. Paris-Sud, Faculté de Médecine, Kremlin-Bicêtre F-94276, France.



To assess the acute vasodilator response and long-term response to calcium-channel blockers (CCB) in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) with associated conditions.


The response to acute vasodilator testing [>20% decrease in mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) and total pulmonary resistance] was assessed in 663 consecutive PAH patients with connective tissue disease (CTD; n = 168), portal hypertension (PoPH; n = 153), anorexigen use (n = 127), human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV; n = 124), congenital heart disease (CHD; n = 50), and pulmonary veno-occlusive disease or capillary haemangiomatosis (PVOD/PCH; n = 41). An acute vasodilator response was observed in 13.4% of PAH-anorexigen patients, 12.2% of PVOD/PCH, 10.1% of CTD, 1.6% of HIV, 1.3% of PoPH, and was absent in CHD. A long-term response to CCB (marked haemodynamic improvement at 3-4 months and New York Heart Association functional class I or II after 1 year) was reported in 9.4% of PAH-anorexigen patients but was rare in HIV, PoPH, CTD (1.6, 0.7, and 0.6%, respectively) and absent in PVOD/PCH. All patients with a long-term CCB response were alive after 5 years; two deaths not related to PAH occurred after this time. Recent criteria for acute response based on the fall in mPAP to <40 mmHg are more specific to detect long-term responders to CCB.


A long-term CCB response was reported in patients with PAH associated with anorexigen use, but was rare in patients with PoPH or HIV and absent in PVOD/PCH, CHD, and the vast majority of CTD. The prognosis of long-term responders was favourable and related to the underlying cause of PAH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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