Study objective: Hyperuricemia occurs frequently in patients with myeloproliferative and lymphoproliferative disorders and in patients with congenital heart disease associated with polycythemia. Whether hyperuricemia is common in patients with severe pulmonary hypertension is not known.
Design, patients, measurements: In the Pulmonary Hypertension Center at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center between September 1991 and August 1997, 442 consecutive patients were evaluated with right heart catheterization; 191 patients also had a measurement of the serum uric acid (UA) in close temporal proximity to the hemodynamic evaluation.
Results: Of the 191 patients with a complete data set, 99 patients had primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) and 92 had secondary pulmonary hypertension. For the entire cohort with severe pulmonary hypertension (n = 191), there was a positive correlation between the natural logarithm of the serum UA (lnUA) and the mean right atrial pressure (RAP; r = 0.47; p < 0.001). When analyzed separately, the correlation between lnUA and RAP was stronger in the patients with PPH (r = 0.642; p < 0.001). This correlation cannot be explained by diuretic use or impaired hepatocellular function. Neither mean pulmonary artery pressure nor cardiac output was as well correlated with the RAP when compared with the lnUA. Some patients with PPH had serum UA measurements repeated during treatment with chronic IV prostacyclin infusion. Eleven of these 18 patients (61%) demonstrated a decrease in serum UA during prostacyclin treatment.
Conclusion: There is a positive correlation between the RAP elevation and the serum UA levels in patients with PPH. Serum UA levels drop in some, but not all PPH patients during chronic prostacyclin infusion therapy.