Clinical Characteristics, Haemodynamics and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension in Sarcoidosis in a Single Centre, and Meta-Analysis of the Published Data

National Pulmonary Hypertension Service, Royal Free Hospital, London, United Kingdom.
The American journal of cardiology (Impact Factor: 3.28). 01/2013; 111(2):278-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.09.031
Source: PubMed


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in sarcoidosis is associated with bad outcomes. Although there is interest in using pulmonary vasodilators (PVs) for PH in sarcoidosis, there are few data to support their use. In this study, a retrospective review of a cohort of patients with PH and sarcoidosis was conducted, focusing on those treated with PVs, and a meta-analysis of published reports indexed in MEDLINE was performed. Twenty-four patients were found. The rate of mortality or transplantation rate was 41.2%. Median survival without transplantation was 5.3 years. More patients who died or underwent transplantation during follow-up had moderate or severe lung fibrosis (66.7% vs 15.4%), had right ventricular dysfunction (80% vs 7.7%), and were in World Health Organization class IV (66.7% vs 30.8%). Body surface areas were lower in patients with events, as was cardiac output. Mortality was not different between patients treated with PVs and those not treated (54.5% vs 38.5%, p = 0.44) despite the treated patients' having more right ventricular dysfunction and worse hemodynamics. In a Cox regression survival model, lower body surface area, right ventricular dysfunction, and the presence of moderate or severe lung fibrosis were predictors of worse outcomes, but not treatment with PVs. PV-treated patients (n = 11) showed improved 6-minute walk distances and decreased N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels during follow-up. There was a trend toward improvement in hemodynamic profile. Four studies plus the data from this study were included in the meta-analysis. Six-minute walk distance improved by 30.64 m after treatment. Hemodynamics improved, with a reduction in mean pulmonary arterial pressure of 8.03 mm Hg and a decrease in pulmonary vascular resistance of 4.23 Wood units. In conclusion, PH in sarcoidosis is associated with adverse outcomes, particularly when accompanied by right ventricular dysfunction and/or moderate or severe lung fibrosis. Treating selected patients can improve hemodynamics and functional parameters.

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    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary hypertension is a serious complication of sarcoidosis. This review discusses clinical characteristics of patients with sarcoid-associated pulmonary hypertension (SAPH) and pitfalls in the diagnosis, and highlights potential therapies. SAPH is common in patients with advanced disease, but it can occur in patients with minimal disease burden. Risk factors for SAPH include restrictive lung physiology, hypoxemia, advanced Scadding chest X-ray stage, and low carbon monoxide diffusion capacity. Echocardiogram is a good initial screening tool in the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension, but right heart catheterization is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment with pulmonary vasodilators, including endothelin antagonists, can lead to improvements in pulmonary hemodynamics in some patients but may not improve their exercise capacity. Forced vital capacity is an important predictor of exercise performance in patients with SAPH. Clinical observations and response to specific therapies for pulmonary hypertension suggest the presence of different SAPH phenotypes. Patients who complain of persistent dyspnea should be screened for the presence of pulmonary hypertension. The prognosis of SAPH is poor and it is prudent to consider referral of these patients for lung transplantation. In some patients with SAPH, treatment with anti-inflammatory agents and pulmonary vasodilators can lower pulmonary arterial pressures, improve dyspnea and functionality, and enhance overall quality of life.
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