Pulmonary hypertension in rheumatoid arthritis

Scand J Rheumatol. 2004;33(4):244-5. doi: 10.1080/03009740410005809.


Using Doppler echocardiography (DE), we measured pulmonary arterial systolic pressure (PASP) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients without coexisting cardiopulmonary diseases. Accepting the normal upper limit of PASP as 30 mmHg, we found elevated PASP in 11 out of 40 (27.5%) RA patients, values being mostly 30-40 mmHg, indicating mild pulmonary hypertension (PHT). Although estimation of PASP by DE is not as reliable as cardiac catheterisation, it is possible that mild elevations in PASP may contribute to the high incidence of cardiovascular events not explained by traditional cardiac risk factors in patients with RA. Long-term follow-up will be obviously necessary to ascertain the impact of mild PHT on the prognosis and mortality rate of RA patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors