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Nat Rev Cardiol. 2010 Nov;7(11):648-59. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2010.144. Epub 2010 Oct 5.

Pulmonary hypertension with left-sided heart disease.

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Cardiopulmonary Unit, University of Milan, San Paolo Hospital, Via A. di Rudinì 8, 20142 Milan, Italy.


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) with left-sided heart disease is defined, according to the latest Venice classification, as a Group 2 PH, which includes left-sided ventricular or atrial disease, and left-sided valvular diseases. These conditions are all associated with increased left ventricular filling pressure. Although PH with left-sided heart disease is a common entity, and long-term follow-up trials have provided firm recognition that development of left-sided PH carries a poor outcome, available data on incidence, pathophysiology, and therapy are sparse. Mitral stenosis was reported as the most frequent cause of PH several decades ago, but PH with left-sided heart disease is now usually caused by systemic hypertension and ischemic heart disease. In patients with these conditions, PH develops as a consequence of impaired left ventricular relaxation and distensibility. Chronic sustained elevation of cardiogenic blood pressure in pulmonary capillaries leads to a cascade of untoward retrograde anatomical and functional effects that represent specific targets for therapeutic intervention. The pathophysiological and clinical importance of the hemodynamic consequences of left-sided heart disease, starting with lung capillary injury and leading to right ventricular overload and failure, are discussed in this Review, focusing on PH as an evolving contributor to heart failure that may be amenable to novel interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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