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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.



  • June 28, 2016
  • Positive Interim Results from PAH Extension LARIAT Trial Reported by Reata
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) The study aims to determine the recommended dose range, assessing the change from baseline in a six-minute walking distance (6MWD, a test for exercise capacity), and to determine the effect of the drug in PAH associated with connective tissue disease, interstitial lung disease, and from unknown causes.
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  • Improvements needed in end-of-life care for patients with organ failure
  • (EuyrekAlert) Historically, efforts to improve end-of-life care have focused primarily on patients with cancer. But few studies have looked at the quality of end-of-life care for patients with other serious illnesses, such as lung, kidney or heart failure or dementia
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  • June 27, 2016
  • Blood test shows promise in gauging severity of pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • (Science Daily) Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report that rising blood levels of a protein called hematoma derived growth factor (HDGF) are linked to the increasing severity of pulmonary arterial hypertension, a form of damaging high blood pressure in the lungs. Their findings, described online June 2 in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, could, they say, eventually lead to a more specific, noninvasive test for pulmonary arterial hypertension that could help doctors decide the best treatment for the disease.
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  • June 26, 2016
  • SAPHIRE: Stress and Pulmonary Hypertension in Rheumatoid Evaluation—A Prevalence Study
  • (Hindawi Publishing Corporation) The heightened prevalence of PAH in individuals with scleroderma, combined with the arrival of specific therapies which improve PAH prognosis, has led to widespread screening for PAH in this patient subgroup in accordance with published guidelines. Subsequently, patients with other autoimmune conditions (e.g., SLE and Sjögren’s syndrome) have also been found to display increased prevalence of PAH, and similar screening recommendations have been made for these groups. The proposal that PAH is a form of autoimmune disease has been increasingly advocated, based upon these associations as well as shared clinical, serological, and other features.
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  • June 24, 2016
  • Right ventricular echocardiography predicts targeted therapy outcome in PAH
  • (News Medical) Echocardiography re-assessment of right ventricular function after targeted therapy is sufficient to predict subsequent prognosis in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), say researchers.
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  • Vibativ Potent Against Difficult-to-Treat Bacteria, Including MRSA
  • (Lung Disease News) Developed by Theravance Biopharma, the medicine counteracted Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a hard-to-treat bacteria and a cause of lung infection. Vibativ also killed other difficult-to-treat bacteria, and was more effective than several widely prescribed antibiotics, including vancomycin, daptomycin and linezolid.
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  • June 23, 2016
  • Reduced RV functional reserve may explain poor SSc-PAH outcomes
  • (News Medical) Patients who develop pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) as a consequence of systemic sclerosis (SSc) have poorer right ventricular (RV) functional reserve than those with idiopathic disease, research published in Circulation shows.
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  • June 22, 2016
  • Stepping on Our Own Toes - There is such a thing as too much analysis, says Fred N. Pelzman, MD
  • (MedPage Today) As we struggle and work valiantly to improve the quality of care we provide, the complex problems we encounter require us to look at these issues from multiple different directions. This can be good, but it also can cause more trouble than we know.

    We live in a world where we are all constantly bombarded with multiple regulatory requirements, as well as initiatives that are seeking to improve the quality and safety of the patient experience at our practices, and the demands from these can often seem overwhelming.
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  • June 21, 2016
  • Unpaid, stressed, and confused: patients are the health care system's free labor
  • (Vox) In a fascinating first-person account of her experiences as a patient undergoing treatment for a chronic foot problem, Sarah observes that writing about American healthcare didn't at all prepare her for the maddening work involved in coordinating her own care:
    "I write a lot about health care for my job here at Vox, and have spent the past seven years covering and explaining the American health care system. But there was something I didn't understand about American health care until this experience. It is the considerable burden our fragmented system puts on patients to coordinate their own care."
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  • June 20, 2016
  • Nerve Stimulator Promising as Central Sleep Apnea Tx
  • (MedPage Today) Unilateral transvenous stimulation of the phrenic nerve was an effective treatment for heart failure patients with moderate to severe central sleep apnea (CSA), according to researchers here.
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  • June 19, 2016
  • What is sleep apnea and how can it be treated?
  • (The Nation) Sleep apnea is a potentially serious respiratory condition in which breathing stops and restarts during sleep. Symptoms include snoring, breathing cessation followed by air gasping, fragmented sleep, unrefreshing sleep, poor quality of sleep, daytime sleepiness, early morning headache, loss of concentration and frequent urination.
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  • June 18, 2016
  • Bosentan Improved Endothelial Function in PAH, but Not in CTEPH Patients, Study Finds
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Endothelial cells, the cells that line the blood vessels, can produce active substances that modulate the vessel’s dilation state. Therefore, endothelial cell injury and dysfunction, which results in an imbalanced production of vasodilators and vascoconstrictors, is central to the development of the abnormalities seen in pulmonary hypertension (PH).
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  • Limiting collagen turnover via collagenase?resistance attenuates right ventricular dysfunction and fibrosis in pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • (Physiological Reports) Recent evidence suggests that manipulating collagen turnover, that is, the balance between synthesis and degradation, is important in ventricular dysfunction (D'Armiento 2002). Collagen turnover can be altered by interfering with synthesis, degradation, or both.
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  • June 17, 2016
  • Solithromycin for Community Acquired Pneumonia Shows Positive Phase 2 Results
  • (Lung Disease News) Data from a Phase 2 clincial trial for solithromycin, a next-generation oral and intravenous fluoroketolide for the treatment of moderate to moderately-severe community acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) and urethritis, has reveled up to 85% cure rate.
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  •  Actelion announces commercial availability of Uptravi (selexipag) in Germany
  • (Nasdaq) Uptravi is indicated for the long-term treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in adult patients with WHO functional class (FC) II-III, either as combination therapy in patients insufficiently controlled with an endothelin receptor antagonist (ERA) and/or a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitor, or as mono therapy in patients who are not candidates for these therapies. Efficacy has been shown in a PAH population including idiopathic and heritable PAH, PAH associated with connective tissue disorders, and PAH associated with corrected simple congenital heart disease.
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  • June 16, 2016
  • Cardiovascular Co-Morbidities in IPF Patients May Worsen Prognosis
  • (Pulmonary Fibrosis News) Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) often exhibit cardiovascular manifestations that affect patients’ morbidity and mortality according to the study”Cardiac manifestations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis,” published in Intractable and Rare Diseases Research.
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  • June 15, 2016
  • PAH Study Reveals Unexpected Gene Complexity
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Mutations in the ENG gene might contribute to disease mechanisms in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), according to a recent study demonstrating that PAH patients often carry ENG gene changes in addition to other, more well-studied mutations. The study demonstrates that genetic contributions to PAH are more complex than anticipated, raising the need for a better understanding of molecular factors that might affect future, individualized treatment attempts.
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  • PAH Patient Survival may be Predicted by Plasma Levels of Two Lipid Metabolites
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Biomarkers can be helpful for diagnosis, follow-up, and management of PAH patients, but only brain natriuretic peptide or its precursor are used for long-term follow-up of patients with the condition – and neither is specific to the disease.
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  • June 14, 2016
  • Certain Steroids Raise Risk for Serious Staph Infections
  • (Philly.com) The findings are "a reminder for clinicians to weigh carefully the elevated risk against the potential beneficial effect of glucocorticoid therapy," said study lead author Dr. Jesper Smit, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.
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  • Galectin-3 Inhibitors Show Positive Preclinical Results for PAH Vascular Remodeling
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Galectin Therapeutics recently announced that GR-MD-02, its galectin-3 (gal-3) inhibitor in development-stage, has shown a positive effect on vascular remodeling in an animal model of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
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  • June 13, 2016
  • Researchers Study Role of Vascular Stiffening in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
  • (Lung Disease News) PAH is a disease of the pulmonary vasculature, characterized by a progressive pulmonary arterial (PA) stiffening. The condition can be idiopathic, heritable, or associated with other diseases. Pulmonary arterial stiffness progression is correlated with an increased mortality in PAH patients. However, it was not known if pulmonary arterial stiffness was a consequence or a cause of PAH.
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  • June 12, 2016
  • Crucial Molecule May Lead to Novel Therapies for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
  • (Lung Disease News) The discovery identified a small non-coding RNA, called microRNA miR-140-5p, and its target molecule as potential targets for novel therapeutic approaches to help patients suffering from the fatal lung disease.
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  • June 11, 2016
  • Screening Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients for PAH May Be Relevant
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Rheumatoid arthritis patients may be at greater risk for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and noninvasive screenings for PAH could identify the risk, offering a chance for treatment at early stages, according to recent findings from the University of Newcastle in Australia.
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  • June 10, 2016
  • High Endothelin, Poor Outcomes Go Together in Pulmonary HTN
  • (MedPage Today) In an exploratory analysis of data from the ongoing Jackson Heart Study, African American participants with both pulmonary hypertension and elevated plasma endothelin had the highest risk for death, researcher Matthew Jankowich, MD, of Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rhode Island, and colleagues wrote in JAMA Cardiology, published online June 8.
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  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Candidate by Galectin Shows Positive Results
  • (Lung Disease News) The data presented during the ATS meeting showed that PAH mice models have increased right ventricular wall thickness, right ventricular hypertrophy, increased right ventricular systolic pressure, fibrosis and pulmonary arterial smooth muscle proliferation, and lower pulmonary blood flow.
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  • June 9, 2016
  • Start of Pulmonary Hypertension by Arterial Stiffening May Be Reduced Through Hormone Therapy
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Recent work from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston titled, “Distal vessel stiffening is an early and pivotal mechanobiological regulator of vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension,” determined that stiffening of the pulmonary arteries is a critical initial driver of PH and is caused by dysregulation of hormone production.
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  • June 8, 2016
  • How to define operability in pulmonary hypertension secondary to congenital heart disease?
  • (Oxford Journals) In a retrospective study of patients with pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH) with follow-up to 20 years, patients with Eisenmenger syndrome and unoperated simple congenital cardiac defects overall have the best survival (87-86% at 20 years), much better than any other subgroup and particularly better than those with PAH after surgical repair of congenital heart disease (36%), even though their quality of life remains poor. Long-term outcomes are the key question, and unfortunately no long-term data are available. Once the defect is closed, a pathophysiological situation more similar to idiopathic PAH is obtained, which is associated with much worse long-term outcomes.
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  • June 7, 2016
  • Galectin Therapeutics (GALT) Announces Positive GR-MD-02 Preclinical Data in PAH
  • (Street Insider) “The alterations in cardiopulmonary function and vascular proliferation, as well as in fibrosis were significantly attenuated by in vivo treatment with specific gal-3 inhibitors,” said David Fulton, Ph.D., Director of the Vascular Biology Center at Augusta University.
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  • June 6, 2016
  • PAH Patients May Benefit from Tightly Controlled Switch to Oral Treprostinil
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Initiation of oral treprostinil treatment turned out to be a more difficult balancing act than expected — a too rapid dose increase led to intolerable side effects, forcing patients off the treatment. The knowledge of the need for a careful treatment dosage, however, awakened a new interest in clinicians and patients who wished to replace the injections with an oral option.
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  • Pulmonary artery stiffening is an early driver of pulmonary hypertension
  • (EurekAlert) Increased stiffness of pulmonary arteries has been linked to increased mortality in patients with pulmonary hypertension, but it is not clear how stiffness develops or drives worsening of disease
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  • June 5, 2016
  • Oral treprostinil for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in patients transitioned from parenteral or inhaled prostacyclins: case series and treatment protocol
  • (PubMed) Oral treprostinil (TRE) is a prostacylin approved for the management of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Few data exist to guide the use of oral TRE as a replacement for parenteral or inhaled prostacyclins. Therefore, the purpose of this report was to describe our experience with oral TRE to transition patients from parenteral or inhaled TRE. We describe a case series of patients admitted for a 4-day hospital stay to transition from parenteral or inhaled TRE.
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  • June 4, 2016
  • New research uncovers mechanism behind deadly infections in transplant patients
  • (Imperial College London) Aspergillus fumigatus is harmless to most people but can cause a fatal infection in transplant patients, a recent study has discovered why. 
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  • June 3, 2016
  • PAH Progression Linked to MicroRNA, Offering Potential Drug Target
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Researchers at England’s University of Sheffield have identified a microRNA that, when lacking in patients, appears to be driving the progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The findings, identifying potential new drug targets, open up avenues of research that might lead to better treatments for this fatal disease
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  • Exercise intolerance in pulmonary hypertension: mechanism, evaluation and clinical implications.
  • (PubMed) This review, through a search of various databases, describes the physiological basis for exercise intolerance across the various PH etiologies, highlights the various exercise evaluation methods and discusses the rationale for exercise training amongst those diagnosed with PH.
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  • June 2, 2016
  • The Simplified Biventricular Remodeling Index in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension ? The Prognostic Value of Echocardiographic Index
  • (American College of Cardiology) Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is often a life- threatening disease, and there is a turning point where right ventricular (RV) decomposition relates to a poor clinical outcome.1 Recently, we have many more therapeutic options for the treatment of PH, so refining projections of prognosis are of practical importance.2 High afterload by PH leads to RV hypertrophy and enlargement. RV remodeling affects both structure and function and is interrelated; however, the change in RV volume may affect left ventricle (LV) function through ventricular septal shift within the pericardium. The authors of this Expert Analysis article tested the hypothesis that remodeling effects on the RV and LV in patients with PH would have prognostic significance.
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  • June 1, 2016
  • Study gives hope transplant patients could live free of anti-rejection drugs
  • (Stanford News) People with organ transplants, resigned to a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs, may now have reason to hope for a respite, say researchers at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the School of Medicine. Using a simple blood sample, the scientists have identified for the first time a pattern of gene expression shared by a small group of patients who beat the odds and remained healthy for years without medication.
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  • Purinergic dysregulation in pulmonary hypertension
  • (American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology) Despite the fact that nucleotides and adenosine help regulate vascular tone through purinergic signaling pathways, little is known regarding their contributions to the pathobiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension, a condition characterized by elevated pulmonary vascular resistance and remodeling. Even less is known about the potential role that alterations in CD39 (ENTPD1), the ectonucleotidase responsible for the conversion of the nucleotides ATP and ADP to AMP, may play in pulmonary arterial hypertension. In this study we identified decreased CD39 expression on the pulmonary endothelium of patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.
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  • May 31, 2016
  • Management of RV failure and Pulmonary Hypertension
  • (The Original Kings of County) The most common cause of pulmonary hypertension in the U.S. is left-sided heart failure, but many cases of pulmonary hypertension remain undocumented. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a specific category of pulmonary hypertension and is a relatively rare disease. In the ED, we often do not consider this disease in the differential diagnosis of dyspnea. And, definitive diagnosis is often delayed as right-sided heart catheterization is required.
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  • May 30, 2016
  • Pulmonary Hypertension in Neonates: Inhaled Nitric Oxide vs Epoprostenol (Flolan)
  • (Journal of Lung, Pulmonary & Respiratory Research) Pulmonary hypertension is a complex disease with an assorted group of etiologies in the neonatal and pediatric populations. The most common cause of acute pulmonary vascular crisis in neonates is persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), a condition where a neonates postpartum circulation physiologically changes back to fetal circulation, thus, causing high pulmonary vascular resistance, and directly affecting cardiopulmonary hemodynamics. The condition of PPHN may be isolated, but is also associated with meconium aspiration syndrome, pneumonia, sepsis, congenital diaphragmatic hernia and/or other disease states. In current practice, PPHN can be treated using either inhaled nitric oxide or epoprstenol (Flolan).
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