Published: 25 August 2020

Authors: Jessica B. Badlam, MD David B. Badesch, MD Eric D. Austin, MD Raymond L. Benza, MD Wendy K. Chung, MD, PhD Harrison W. Farber, MD Kathy Feldkircher, PhD Adaani E. Frost, MD Abby D. Poms, RRT CCRP Katie A. Lutz, BS Michael W. Pauciulo, MBA Chang Yu, PhD William C. Nichols, PhD C. Gregory Elliott, MD on behalf of USPHSR Investigators

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 195


    The treatment, genotyping, and phenotyping of patients with World Health Organization Group 1 pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) have evolved dramatically in the last decade.

    Research Question

    The United States Pulmonary Hypertension Scientific Registry was established as the first US PAH patient registry to investigate genetic information, reproductive histories, and environmental exposure data in a contemporary patient population.

    Study Design and Methods

    Investigators at 15 US centers enrolled consecutively screened adults diagnosed with Group 1 PAH who had enrolled in the National Biological Sample and Data Repository for PAH (PAH Biobank) within 5 years of a cardiac catheterization demonstrating qualifying hemodynamic criteria. Exposure and reproductive histories were collected by using a structured interview and questionnaire. The biobank provided genetic data.


    Between 2015 and 2018, a total of 499 of 979 eligible patients with clinical diagnoses of idiopathic PAH (IPAH) or familial PAH (n = 240 [48%]), associated PAH (APAH; n = 256 [51%]), or pulmonary venoocclusive disease/pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis (n = 3 [1%]) enrolled. The mean age was 55.8 years, average BMI was 29.2 kg/m2, and 79% were women. Mean duration between symptom onset and diagnostic catheterization was 1.9 years. Sixty-six percent of patients were treated with more than one PAH medication at enrollment. Past use of prescription weight loss drugs (16%), recreational drugs (27%), and oral contraceptive pills (77%) was common. Women often reported miscarriage (37%), although PAH was rarely diagnosed within 6 months of pregnancy (1.9%). Results of genetic testing identified pathogenic or suspected pathogenic variants in 13% of patients, reclassifying 18% of IPAH patients and 5% of APAH patients to heritable PAH.


    Patients with Group 1 PAH remain predominately middle-aged women diagnosed with IPAH or APAH. Delays in diagnosis of PAH persist. Treatment with combinations of PAH-targeted medications is more common than in the past. Women often report pregnancy complications, as well as exposure to anorexigens, oral contraceptives, and/or recreational drugs. Results of genetic tests frequently identify unsuspected heritable PAH.

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