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PHCentral News is gathered daily to bring you the latest developments in pulmonary hypertension treatments and research as well as stories we think are useful on an array of topics.  Under current news, you will find a dynamic list of stories for the last thirty (30) days.  You will find older news stories in our archives.    Stories about specific treatments can also be found in the medical section.

If you run across a PH news story we've missed or important story with broad appeal, please send us the link and we'll make sure it gets added.   Send news:  contact/info+phcentral+org.



  • July 24, 2014
  • Major Signaling Pathway in Scleroderma May Enable Effective Treatments, Cures
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) As any scleroderma patient knows, the disease has no cure and no effective treatments exist. The main goal of current treatments is reducing inflammation which, often times, is not enough to provide relief to patients, especially those who have developed pulmonary hypertension as a result of thickened pulmonary arteries.
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  • July 23, 2014
  • Scleroderma Patients Benefit from Stem Cell Transplants Over Conventional Treatment
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Scleroderma patients, who are sometimes affected by pulmonary hypertension, are becoming routinely treated with stem cell transplants. Dr. Dinesh Khanna, at the annual European Congress of Rheumatology, previewed the results of the Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation International Scerloderma (ASTIS) trial evaluating 156 severe scleroderma patients randomized to receive a stem cell transplant or cyclophosphamide, a conventional drug used to treat some auto-immune diseases because it decreases the immune system’s response.
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  • July 22, 2014
  • New PAH-Related Hospitalization Study Released
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Lead author Charles Burger, MD, from the Mayo Clinic, and colleagues reported their findings in Chest. Data was gathered for 862 patients, and 490 (56.8%) experienced at least one hospitalization during their first three years post-diagnosis. 490 of the total had experienced at least one hospitalization during the 3-year follow-up period. 52.4% of the hospital admissions were PAH-related, while 43.7% were unrelated to the disease and 3.9% were due to undetermined causes. Half were related to the patients’ PAH, and the mean total number of days spent in the hospital was 15.3 days. Not only is a hospital stay burdensome to patients, but also it places a burden on the healthcare system.
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  • July 21, 2014
  • Experimental Therapy Targets Inflammation in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held company located in Irving, Texas aiming to translate innovative research into breakthroug1h medicines for difficult-to-treat diseases that have significant unmet needs. Their approach specifically involves developing a novel class of drugs with potent transcriptional activity, called antioxidant inflammation modulators (AIMs), which can control the body’s production of hundreds of antioxidative and cytoprotective molecules and is associated with protection against a broad range of diseases ...
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  • July 20, 2014
  • New and Effective Treatments for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • (Medscape) Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has been an untreatable condition since its description nearly a century ago. Its progression from diagnosis to death from respiratory failure is, on average, more rapid than that of lung cancer. At last, 2 new agents have now been reported to provide meaningful benefits.
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  • US News Ranks Best Hospitals in 2014
  • (Medscape) US News & World Report has named the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the top hospital in the United States. Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, were ranked 2 and 3, respectively, according to a news release.
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  • July 19, 2014
  • Disturbed Sleep Linked to Increased Dementia Risk
  • (Medscape) Sleep disturbance, including sleep apnea and insomnia, may increase dementia risk, new research shows.
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  • Growing Doubt on Statin Drugs: The Problem of Drug-Lifestyle Interaction
  • (Medscape) In his blog, Dr. John M. states "My mind is changing about statins. I'm growing increasingly worried about the irrational exuberance over these drugs, especially when used for prevention of heart disease that is yet to happen."
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  • July 18, 2014
  • New technology removes blood clots
  • (NewsMedical) When a large blood clot was discovered attached to the end of a catheter inside the right atrial chamber of a patient's heart, doctors faced a daunting challenge. If the clot came loose, the consequences would likely be catastrophic for the patient, who suffered from pulmonary hypertension - a dangerous narrowing of blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs.

    But experts at the UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center (SCVC) are now able to save patients like this one from potentially fatal outcomes by using a new technology capable of removing blood clots, infected masses or foreign bodies from major cardiac blood vessels without performing open-heart surgery.....
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  • July 17, 2014
  •  When the pressure gets too much
  • (6 Minutos - Australia) Patients with CTEPH usually present with progressive dyspnea and exercise intolerance, and will often report additional symptoms of right ventricular dysfunction, such as peripheral edema, exertional chest pain, syncope, or pre-syncope.
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  • Reduced range of facial expression indicates serious heart, lung disease
  • (Medical Express) Patients with serious heart and lung conditions don't have the normal range of facial expressions, particularly the ability to register surprise in response to emotional cues, finds preliminary research published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.
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  • July 16, 2014
  • Mutation New to PAH Onset is Identified and Remedied in the Laboratory
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Putting an end to one familial case of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) without a known cause, a recent study published in New England Journal of Medicine investigated the mutation responsible for one family’s idiopathic PAH. Lead authors Lijang Ma, MD, PhD, and Danilo Roman-Campos, PhD, principal investigator Wendy Chung, MD, PhD, and fellow colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center and other institutions reported a novel mutation responsible for a channelopathy that was then remedied experimentally in cells through pharmacologic manipulation.
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  • Subcutaneous Treprostinil Used to Treat PAH Infants
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Although pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung disease are usually associated with adults, some cases develop in infancy. Dina Ferdman, MD, from Columbia University Medical Center, is finding a way to treat infant patients, who were premature and have severe pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and chronic lung disease, using a second-line therapy known as subcutaneous treprostinil 
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  • July 15, 2014
  • PAH Disease Burden 'Significant'
  • (edWire News) Patients with newly diagnosed pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) have a substantial burden of disease, with more than half hospitalised during the first 3 years post-diagnosis, research shows.
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  • Why drinking too much may cause lung disease
  • (Consumer Affairs) Excessive alcohol use is usually associated with damage to the liver. While that is a common side effect, researchers are now warning that heavy drinking can also take a toll on the lungs.
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  • July 14, 2014
  • Lung Disease Inadequately Assessed by FVC in PH-Scleroderma Patients
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Patients with pulmonary hypertension secondary to scleroderma (also known as systemic sclerosis) may not be properly assessed for interstitial lung disease through forced vital capacity (FVC) alone, according to Dr. Elizabeth Volkmann, of the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Volkmann, a rheumatologist, spoke at the annual European Congress of Rheumatology held June 11-14 in Paris, France.
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  • Reliable Measure for Oxygen Uptake Efficiency in PAH Patients Found in New Study
  • (PlosOne) Decline in oxygen uptake efficiency (OUE), especially during exercise, is found in patients with chronic heart failure. In this study we aimed to test the validity and usefulness of OUE in evaluating gas exchange abnormality of patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH).
    ...
    In patients with IPAH, OUES and OUEP are both significantly lower than the healthy subjects. OUEP is a better physiological parameter than OUES in evaluating the gas exchange abnormality of patients with IPAH.
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  • July 13, 2014
  • New Accurate, Time-Saving Heart Visualization Method ...
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Ventripoint Diagnostics‘ VMS, a new heart visualization system for cardiac MRI and 3D ultrasounds, was recently deemed an accurate method by a German group of researchers, the company announced on Monday.
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  • Pregancy in Women with PH
  • (National Institute of Health) Women with pulmonary hypertension have a high risk of morbidity and mortality during pregnancy.
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  • July 12, 2014
  • Depression Can Hinder Pulmonary Rehab
  • (Phyche Central) Researchers from The Miriam Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, found that depression may significantly blunt rehabilitation programs — especially among women. This has led experts to recommend that screening and treatment for depression should be incorporated into the rehabilitation regimen.
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  • Lung Institute Reveals New Stem Cell Therapy Case Study
  • (Digital Journal) The Lung Institute works to help people who have received a diagnosis of debilitating lung disease get their quality of life back. The latest case study demonstrates how stem cell therapy can be used effectively to treat interstitial lung disease. After his recent stem cell treatment at the Lung Institute, Al Corter can now complete his daily tasks on his horse farm much faster, and finally attend the Silver Spur Riding Club Open Horse Show the weekend of July 12th in Fonda, NY.
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  • July 11, 2014
  • The LARIAT trial: PAH clinical trial using bardoxolone methyl
  • (pulmonaryhypertensionnews.com) The molecular and pharmacological effects of bardoxolone methyl are broad through its induction of Nrf2 and suppression of NF-κB. Bardoxolone methyl may therefore address multiple facets of the pathophysiology of PAH because it suppresses activation of proinflammatory mediators, enhances endothelial NO bioavailability, improves metabolic dysfunction, suppresses vascular proliferation, and prevents maladaptive remodeling. Furthermore, while existing therapies primarily target only smooth muscle cells, bardoxolone methyl targets multiple cell types relevant to PAH, including endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and macrophages.
    This is a two-part study sponsored by Reata Pharmaceuticals of Irving, TX....

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  • July 10, 2014
  • PK10453, a nonselective platelet-derived growth factor receptor inhibitor, prevents the progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
  • (Pulmonary Circulation) PK10453, when delivered by inhalation, significantly decreased the progression of PAH in the rat MCT and MCT+PN models. Nonselective inhibition of both the PDGFα and PDGFβ receptors may have a therapeutic advantage over selective PDGFα receptor inhibition in PAH.
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  • July 9, 2014
  • Pulmonary Hypertension in Infants: Subcutaneous Treprostinil?
  • (Medscape Medical News) Subcutaneous treprostinil (SCTre) is an effective second-line therapy for former premature infants who have chronic lung disease and severe pulmonary hypertension, according to Dina J. Ferdman, MD, from the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center,..
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  • July 8, 2014
  • Unique Predictors of Mortality in Patients With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Associated With Systemic Sclerosis in the Reveal Registry
  • (CHEST) New predictors of mortality in SSc...
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  • Viagra facing stiff competition in Thailand
  • (Thailand, Phuket Gazette) PHUKET: The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) will launch its erectile dysfunction drug "Sidagra" on October 15 at a fraction of the price of Viagra..

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  • July 7, 2014
  • Contractile Dysfunction of Left Ventricular Cardiomyocytes in Patients With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.
  • (pubmed) The contractile function [..]of left ventricle heart muscle cells is substantially reduced in PAH patients. We propose that these changes contribute to the reduced in vivo contractility of the LV in PAH patients..
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  • July 6, 2014
  • Apixaban Recommended for DVT/PE Indications in European Union
  • (Medscape) The European Medicines Agency Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) "has adopted a positive opinion" on extending the marketing authorization for apixaban (Eliquis, Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer) to include treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), plus prevention of recurrences of these conditions in adults.
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  • Study: Two-Thirds of Men Prefer Electric Shock to Being Alone With Thoughts
  • (The Escapist) When was the last time you were alone with your thoughts? No cell phone, no computer, no books, just you and your gray matter? And can you remember how long you were able to hold your own attention? This was a question that a team of scientists, led by University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy Wilson, wanted to answer.
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  • July 5, 2014
  • Benefits and Harms of Roflumilast in Moderate to Severe COPD
  • (Medscape) Roflumilast, a phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, has been approved for the prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. It is unclear which patients will have a favourable benefit–harm balance with roflumilast. Our aim was to quantitatively assess the benefits and harms of roflumilast (500 μg/day) compared with placebo.
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  • Failure Of Health Information Technology
  • (Medscape) An article published in the University of Las Vegas Law Journal looks at the failure of health information technology to revolutionize medical care.  This failure is something unexpected since the introduction of massive computerized information technology has changed just about every other industry.  It only makes sense.  Get all the information in a person's medical record together in a single bundle: history, physical, lab work, imaging such as x-rays, CT scans and MRIs, and so on.  It will all be organized and can be followed without duplication.  It only makes sense to do this until it is tried in real life.
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  • July 4, 2014
  • Fireworks: Air quality and health effects
  • (Prairie Star) Celebrations for the Fourth of July are just around the corner. Millions of people will be watching brilliant fireworks displays from cities, towns and neighborhoods across the country. While fireworks can be patriotic and fun to watch, most people probably do not know how fireworks might affect air quality and the health of people around them.
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  • July 2, 2014
  •  Unapproved Device Buys Time for New Pair of Lungs
  • (ABC News) Jon Sacker was near death, too sick for doctors to attempt the double lung transplant he so desperately needed. His only chance: An experimental machine that essentially works like dialysis for the lungs.
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  • July 1, 2014
  • Reata Begins Enrollment For PAH – LARIAT Phase 2 Study
  • (PH News) Drs. Sutendra and Michelakis observe that the realization that these tissues share a common metabolic abnormality (i.e., suppression of mitochondrial glucose oxidation and increased glycolysis) is an important element in our understanding of PAH, if not a paradigm shift, and in their paper they discuss an emerging metabolic theory, which proposes that PAH should be viewed as a syndrome involving many organs sharing a mitochondrial abnormality and explains many PAH features and provides novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets
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  • Management of respiratory diseases beyond drugs: Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • (MFF) A very interesting and informative panel discussion on Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) of patients of respiratory diseases was held as part of the 20th National Conference on Environmental Sciences and Pulmonary Diseases (20th NESCON), organized by the Academy of Respiratory Medicine, under the auspices of Environmental Medical Association in Mumbai.
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  • June 29, 2014
  • Transbronchial Cryobiopsy Aids in Diagnosis of Interstitial Lung Disease
  • (Medscape) The use of a cryoprobe for transbronchial lung biopsy (TBLB) improves the diagnostic yield in patients suspected of having interstitial lung disease, researchers report.
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  • Is the PA Pressure High or Low?
  • (Medscape) An educational opportunity to review of the physiology of pulmonary hypertension on echo.  It explains one of the reasons why PH on echo doesn't always translate into PH in real life and the importance of a competent interpretation of results.
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  • June 28, 2014
  • U.S. Group Changes Lung Transplant Policy for Kids
  • (Medscape) A U.S. group that sets policy for organ transplants voted on Monday to adopt a permanent rule to allow some children access to adult lungs.
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  • Corticosteroids and Transition to Delirium in Patients With Acute Lung Injury
  • (Medscape) Delirium is common in mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU and associated with short- and long-term morbidity and mortality. The use of systemic corticosteroids is also common in the ICU. Outside the ICU setting, corticosteroids are a recognized risk factor for delirium, but their relationship with delirium in critically ill patients has not been fully evaluated. We hypothesized that systemic corticosteroid administration would be associated with a transition to delirium in mechanically ventilated patients with acute lung injury.
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  • June 27, 2014
  • Completes Enrollment of its Phase 2 Trial of INOpulse®
  • (Market Watch) Bellerophon Therapeutics LLC, a clinical stage biotherapeutics company, today announced that it has completed enrollment of its 159-patient Phase 2 clinical trial of INOpulse for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PH-COPD). PH-COPD is a serious complication of COPD that can significantly affect the health status of patients with this condition. Current standard of care is primarily limited to oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and lung transplant. This follows the previously announced completion of enrollment for Bellerophon's 80-patient Phase 2 clinical trial of INOpulse for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). 
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  • June 26, 2014
  • Stem Cells Aid Survival in Scleroderma
  • (MedPage Today) Autologous stem cell transplantation was associated with improved long-term survival among patients with systemic sclerosis, although early mortality was higher than with cyclophosphamide, a European randomized study found.
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  • Bellerophon Therapeutics’ INOpulse for PAH Phase 2 Clinical Trial Fully Enrolled
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News.) Biothech company Bellerophon Therapeutics met the enrollment goal for its Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating INOpulse in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Eighty patients, with age limits of 16-80 years, were enrolled at 52 sites across the United States and Canada.

    INOpulse is pulsed, inhaled nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is naturally secreted by endothelial cells lining blood vessels to cause relaxation of smooth muscle cells and dilate blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and decreases strain on the heart to pump blood to the lungs and throughout the body.
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  • June 25, 2014
  • Yoga exercise program tailored for pulmonary hypertension patients
  • (Science Today) Summary:  A first-of-its-kind yoga exercise program has been developed for patients living with pulmonary hypertension, a chronic lung disease that afflicts women at least two times more than men. Called Yoga for PH, the 40-minute program includes three yoga exercise levels and a nutrition and lifestyle discussion.
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  • Nutritional Supplement NAC Studied as PH Treatment
  • (Respiratory Research) The nutritional supplement N-acetylcysteine (NAC) may have immunomodulatory and cardioprotective properties, which can potentially benefit pulmonary hypertension patients, according to the recent study “N-acetylcysteine improves established monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension in rats,” conducted by Dr. Marie-Camille Chaumais, at the University of Paris-Sud, College of Pharmacy, France.
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  • From 2007: N-acetylcysteine (NAC): This Common Antioxidant Supplement Could Cause You Loads of Trouble
  • (pubmed) Just to balance out the news. This item is from 2007 and predates the current NAC study.

    Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have discovered troubling side effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a common antioxidant used in nutritional and bodybuilding supplements.

    NAC can form a red blood cell-derived molecule called nitrosothiol that fools your body into thinking there’s an oxygen shortage, which can lead to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)....

    Full details: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=17786245
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