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Pulm Circ. 2016 Sep;6(3):313-21. doi: 10.1086/688516.

Hemodynamic evidence of vascular remodeling in combined post- and precapillary pulmonary hypertension.

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Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Center for Human Genetics Research, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


Although commonly encountered, patients with combined postcapillary and precapillary pulmonary hypertension (Cpc-PH) have poorly understood pulmonary vascular properties. The product of pulmonary vascular resistance and compliance, resistance-compliance (RC) time, is a measure of pulmonary vascular physiology. While RC time is lower in postcapillary PH than in precapillary PH, the RC time in Cpc-PH and the effect of pulmonary wedge pressure (PWP) on RC time are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that Cpc-PH has an RC time that resembles that in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) more than that in isolated postcapillary PH (Ipc-PH). We analyzed the hemodynamics of 282 consecutive patients with PH referred for right heart catheterization (RHC) with a fluid challenge from 2004 to 2013 (cohort A) and 4,382 patients who underwent RHC between 1998 and 2014 for validation (cohort B). Baseline RC time in Cpc-PH was higher than that in Ipc-PH and lower than that in PAH in both cohorts (P < 0.001). In cohort A, RC time decreased after fluid challenge in patients with Ipc-PH but not in those with PAH or Cpc-PH (P < 0.001). In cohort B, the inverse relationship of pulmonary vascular compliance and resistance, as well as that of RC time and PWP, in Cpc-PH was similar to that in PAH and distinct from that in Ipc-PH. Our findings demonstrate that patients with Cpc-PH have pulmonary vascular physiology that resembles that of patients with PAH more than that of Ipc-PH patients. Further study is warranted to identify determinants of vascular remodeling and assess therapeutic response in this subset of PH.


postcapillary; precapillary; pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary vascular compliance; pulmonary vascular resistance; resistance-compliance time

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