Prevalence of acute vasoresponsiveness in patients with pulmonary hypertension: Treatment implications

Vichaya Arunthari, Michael G. Heckman, Charles D. Burger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a serious and often progressive disorder that results in right ventricular dysfunction. The general reported rate of patients who are responders is 10%-26%. More recently, using the current criteria, the rate of acute vasodilator response was as low as 6%. This study used the most current guidelines to assess the prevalence of acute vasoresponsiveness in patients with PH. MethodS: A retrospective chart review of 618 patients seen in the PH clinic at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville from 1991 to June 2008 was conducted. We assessed the prevalence of acute vasoresponsiveness in patients with PH who had undergone vasodilator trial with epoprostenol or nitric oxide, using the current accepted criteria. Results: One hundred and seventy-six patients who underwent a vasodilator trial that had complete hemodynamic data were identified. The average age was 61 ± 14 years and most were women (67%). The PH was severe with most patients in the World Health Organization (WHO) functional class III-IV (82%), and an average mean pulmonary artery pressure of 48 ± 11 mm Hg. Although the study group included all WHO diagnostic groups, 69% were diagnosed as Group I pulmonary arterial hypertension. We found an overall prevalence of response to acute vasodilator therapy to be 26%. Conclusion: Using the most current criteria to identify acute responders to vasodilator therapy in PH patients, we found a slightly higher rate of "responders" than previously reported. Acute vasodilator testing identifies a clinically important group who may benefit from calcium channel blockers (CCBs), and this study confirms that a significant percentage of PH patients are acutely vasoresponsive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-634
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Acute vasodilator response
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • right heart catheterization
  • vasoresponsiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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