Pulmonary Hypertension in the Intensive Care Unit

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY.
Progress in cardiovascular diseases (Impact Factor: 4.25). 09/2012; 55(2):187-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.pcad.2012.07.001
Source: PubMed


Pulmonary hypertension, a condition that can lead to right ventricular failure and hemodynamic collapse, can be very challenging to manage in critically ill patients who require the intensive care unit. Because of the underlying structure of the right ventricle, significant increases in right ventricular afterload initiate a vicious cycle of degenerating right ventricular function, giving rise to right ventricular failure and cardiogenic shock. In patients with pulmonary hypertension, inciting factors such as sepsis and arrhythmias can exacerbate this process. Important management principles include close monitoring of hemodynamics with both noninvasive and invasive modalities, optimization of right ventricular preload, maintenance of systemic blood pressure, enhancement of right ventricular contractility, reduction of right ventricular afterload, and reversal of identifiable inciting factors. The goal of this review is to discuss these key concepts in managing this difficult patient population.

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  • No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia
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    ABSTRACT: Right ventricular failure complicates several commonly encountered conditions in the intensive care unit. Right ventricular dilation and paradoxic movement of the interventricular septum on echocardiography establishes the diagnosis. Right heart catheterization is useful in establishing the specific cause and aids clinicians in management. Principles of treatment focus on reversal of the underlying cause, optimization of right ventricular preload and contractility, and reduction of right ventricular afterload. Mechanical support with right ventricular assist device or veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation can be used in select patients who fail to improve with optimal medical therapy.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Critical Care Clinics
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    ABSTRACT: The in-hospital mortality of severe pulmonary hypertension (PH) with right heart failure (RHF) is high despite the use of vasoactive and PH-specific therapies. We conducted a prospective analysis evaluating the safety and outcomes of fasudil hydrochloride (Chuan Wei) therapy in acute RHF. PH patients hospitalized between April 2009 and November 2010 were treated with 30 mg of i.v. fasudil three times daily over 30 min, until they experienced relief of RHF symptoms. Adverse and serious adverse events were recorded. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for both in-hospital mortality and re-hospitalization. Multivariate adjustments were made for age, gender and World Health Organization functional class. There were no significant differences between the fasudil group and the control group in demographics, hemodynamics, and PH-specific and vasoactive therapies. Of the 209 study patients, 3 of the 74 patients (4.1%) in the fasudil arm died, and 19 of the 135 patients (14.1%) in the control arm died (P=0.005). Fasudil decreased both in-hospital mortality (OR=0.258 (0.074-0.903); P=0.034) and 30-day re-hospitalization (OR=0.200 (0.059-0.681); P=0.010). Fasudil was well tolerated; one patient discontinued treatment. Intravenous fasudil may be given safely in patients with PH and acute RHF, and may reduce the rates of both in-hospital mortality and 30-day re-hospitalization.Hypertension Research advance online publication, 19 March 2015; doi:10.1038/hr.2015.33.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Hypertension Research
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