The availability of selective inhibitors of the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-specific type 5 phosphodiesterase (PDE5) has created increasing interest in unlocking the therapeutic potential of PDE5 inhibition in cardiovascular diseases that are marked by dysfunction of nitric oxide (NO)-cGMP signaling. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and heart failure (HF) are characterized by pulmonary arterial vasoconstriction that is thought to be caused by relative deficiencies of vasodilators such as NO and exaggerated production of vasoconstrictors such as endothelin. PDE5 is abundant in the pulmonary vasculature where it catabolizes cGMP, the second messenger of NO. Inhibition of PDE5 has been shown to lower pulmonary vascular resistance in PAH and HF by augmenting local cGMP. This review outlines the therapeutic potential of PDE5 inhibition for the treatment of PAH and HF.