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Concept: Pulmonary artery


We explore whether the number of null results in large National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) funded trials has increased over time.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Heart, Effectiveness, Avicenna,, Vein, Pulmonary artery, Null result


Background The prevalence of pulmonary embolism among patients hospitalized for syncope is not well documented, and current guidelines pay little attention to a diagnostic workup for pulmonary embolism in these patients. Methods We performed a systematic workup for pulmonary embolism in patients admitted to 11 hospitals in Italy for a first episode of syncope, regardless of whether there were alternative explanations for the syncope. The diagnosis of pulmonary embolism was ruled out in patients who had a low pretest clinical probability, which was defined according to the Wells score, in combination with a negative d-dimer assay. In all other patients, computed tomographic pulmonary angiography or ventilation-perfusion lung scanning was performed. Results A total of 560 patients (mean age, 76 years) were included in the study. A diagnosis of pulmonary embolism was ruled out in 330 of the 560 patients (58.9%) on the basis of the combination of a low pretest clinical probability of pulmonary embolism and negative d-dimer assay. Among the remaining 230 patients, pulmonary embolism was identified in 97 (42.2%). In the entire cohort, the prevalence of pulmonary embolism was 17.3% (95% confidence interval, 14.2 to 20.5). Evidence of an embolus in a main pulmonary or lobar artery or evidence of perfusion defects larger than 25% of the total area of both lungs was found in 61 patients. Pulmonary embolism was identified in 45 of the 355 patients (12.7%) who had an alternative explanation for syncope and in 52 of the 205 patients (25.4%) who did not. Conclusions Pulmonary embolism was identified in nearly one of every six patients hospitalized for a first episode of syncope. (Funded by the University of Padua; PESIT number, NCT01797289 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Lung, Hospital, Heart, Pulmonary embolism, Pulmonary artery, Human lung, Embolism


The nitric oxide (NO)-soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC)-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signal-transduction pathway is impaired in many cardiovascular diseases, including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Riociguat (BAY 63-2521) is a stimulator of sGC that works both in synergy with and independently of NO to increase levels of cGMP. The aims of this study were to investigate the role of NO-sGC-cGMP signaling in a model of severe PAH and to evaluate the effects of sGC stimulation by riociguat and PDE5 inhibition by sildenafil on pulmonary hemodynamics and vascular remodeling in severe experimental PAH.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Myocardial infarction, Pulmonary artery, Nitric oxide, Pulmonary hypertension, Guanylate cyclase, Sildenafil, Riociguat


BACKGROUND: Patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) experience impaired health-related quality of life (HRQL). The objective of this study was to evaluate HRQL in a nation-wide sample. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This is a prospective, multicenter, non-interventional study of HRQL including 139 (89%) PAH and 17 (11%) CTEPH patients (women 70.5%; mean age, 52.2) recruited from 21 Spanish hospitals. 55% had idiopathic PAH, 34% other PAH and 11% CTEPH. HRQL was measured using the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) and EuroQoL-5D (baseline and after 6 months). RESULTS: HRQL in the patients with PAH or CTEPH was impaired. The physical component of SF-36 and the EuroQol-5D correlated with the functional class (FC). Mean EuroQol-5D visual analogical scale (EQ-5D VAS) scores were 73.5±18.4, 62.9±20.7 and 51.3±16.0 (P<.0001) in patients with FC I, II and III, respectively. Every increase of one FC represented a loss of 4.0 on the PCS SF-36 and a loss of 9.5 on the EQ-5D VAS. Eight patients who died or received a transplant during the study period presented poorer initial HRQL compared with the rest of the population. No significant changes in HRQL were observed in survivors after 6 months of follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: HRQL is impaired in this population, especially in PAH/CTEPH patients near death. HRQL measurements could help predict the prognosis in PAH and CTPH and provide additional information in these patients.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Cardiology, Blood pressure, Pulmonary artery, Pulmonary hypertension, Iloprost


The objective of this prospective study was to assess the prevalence of anxiety and depression disorders and their association with quality of life (QoL), clinical parameters and survival in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Concepts: Pulmonology, Myocardial infarction, Coronary artery disease, Cardiology, Blood pressure, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Pulmonary artery, Pulmonary hypertension


Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant inherited disorder characterised by vascular malformations in predominantly the brain, liver and lungs. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is increasingly recognised as a severe complication of HHT. PH may be categorised into two distinct types in patients with HHT. Post-capillary PH most often results from a high pulmonary blood flow that accompanies the high cardiac output state associated with liver arteriovenous malformations. Less frequently, the HHT-related gene mutations in ENG or ACVRL1 appear to predispose patients with HHT to develop pre-capillary pulmonary arterial hypertension. Differentiation between both forms of PH by right heart catheterisation is essential, since both entities are associated with severe morbidity and mortality with different treatment options. Therefore all HHT patients should be referred to an HHT centre.

Concepts: Genetic disorder, Pulmonology, Blood, Cardiology, Heart, Vein, Pulmonary artery, Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia


Pulmonary vascular and cardiac impairment is increasingly appreciated as a major adverse factor in the natural history of interstitial lung disease. This clinically orientated review focuses on the current concepts in the pathogenesis, pathophysiology and implications of the detrimental sequence of increased pulmonary vascular resistance, pre-capillary pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure in interstitial lung disease, and provides guidance on its management.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Lung, Cardiology, Heart failure, Heart, Vein, Pulmonary artery, Tetrapod


This review summarizes our current knowledge on lung vasculogenesis and angiogenesis during normal lung development and the regulation of fetal and postnatal pulmonary vascular tone. In comparison to that of the adult, the pulmonary circulation of the fetus and newborn displays many unique characteristics. Moreover, altered development of pulmonary vasculature plays a more prominent role in compromised pulmonary vasoreactivity than in the adult. Clinically, a better understanding of the developmental changes in pulmonary vasculature and vasomotor tone and the mechanisms that are disrupted in disease states can lead to the development of new therapies for lung diseases characterized by impaired alveolar structure and pulmonary hypertension.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Blood, Lung, Fetus, Developmental biology, Heart, Pulmonary artery, Cardiovascular system


Swyer-James-MacLeod syndrome (SJMS) is a rare syndrome of acute obliterative bronchiolitis following an early childhood infective insult to the lungs. This causes arrest of alveolarization, affecting lung development with hypoplasia of the ipsilateral pulmonary artery and results in a characteristic radiological pattern, such as a unilateral hyperlucent lung with expiratory air-trapping and pruned-tree appearance on pulmonary angiogram. The clinical presentation is either recurrent chest infections, exertional dyspnoea or it may be an incidental finding. Management involves early prevention of infection, airway clearance, and regular vaccinations. We describe two adult patients with SJMS: A 51-year-old female of Indian ethnicity presenting with recurrent haemoptysis and a 40-year-old Indigenous male presenting acutely with sepsis and background history of recurrent chest infections. These cases highlight the importance of being aware of and accurately recognizing this rare condition, to be able to manage patients appropriately and avoid incorrect and unnecessary treatment.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Lung, Pneumonia, Heart, Vein, Pulmonary artery, Emphysema, Bronchitis


Extreme prematurity is the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age. Currently, there is no treatment for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), the most common complication of extreme prematurity. Experimental studies in animal models of BPD suggest that mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are lung protective. To date, no systematic review and meta-analysis has evaluated the preclinical evidence of this promising therapy. Our protocol was registered with Collaborative Approach to Meta-Analysis and Review of Animal Data from Experimental Studies prior to searching MEDLINE (1946 to June 1, 2015), Embase (1947 to 2015 Week 22), Pubmed, Web of Science, and conference proceedings (1990 to present) for controlled comparative studies of neonatal animal models that received MSCs or cell free MSC-derived conditioned media (MSC-CM). Lung alveolarization was the primary outcome. We used random effects models for data analysis and followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses reporting guidelines. We screened 990 citations; 25 met inclusion criteria. All used hyperoxia-exposed neonatal rodents to model BPD. MSCs significantly improved alveolarization (Standardized mean difference of -1.330, 95% Confidence interval [CI -1.724, -0.94, I(2) 69%]), irrespective of timing of treatment, source, dose, or route of administration. MSCs also significantly ameliorated pulmonary hypertension, lung inflammation, fibrosis, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. Similarly, MSC-CM significantly improved alveolarization, angiogenesis, and pulmonary artery remodeling. MSCs, tested exclusively in hyperoxic rodent models of BPD, show significant therapeutic benefit. Unclear risk of bias and incomplete reporting in the primary studies highlights nonadherence to reporting standards. Overall, safety and efficacy in other species/large animal models may provide useful information for guiding the design of clinical trials. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017.

Concepts: Stem cell, Mesenchymal stem cell, Heart, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Pulmonary artery, Meta-analysis, Stromal cell