Rationale: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is an orphan disease for which the trend is for management in designated centers with multidisciplinary teams working in a shared-care approach.
Objective: To describe clinical and hemodynamic parameters and to provide estimates for the prevalence of patients diagnosed for PAH according to a standardized definition.
Methods: The registry was initiated in 17 university hospitals following at least five newly diagnosed patients per year. All consecutive adult (> or = 18 yr) patients seen between October 2002 and October 2003 were to be included.
Main results: A total of 674 patients (mean +/- SD age, 50 +/- 15 yr; range, 18-85 yr) were entered in the registry. Idiopathic, familial, anorexigen, connective tissue diseases, congenital heart diseases, portal hypertension, and HIV-associated PAH accounted for 39.2, 3.9, 9.5, 15.3, 11.3, 10.4, and 6.2% of the population, respectively. At diagnosis, 75% of patients were in New York Heart Association functional class III or IV. Six-minute walk test was 329 +/- 109 m. Mean pulmonary artery pressure, cardiac index, and pulmonary vascular resistance index were 55 +/- 15 mm Hg, 2.5 +/- 0.8 L/min/m(2), and 20.5 +/- 10.2 mm Hg/L/min/m(2), respectively. The low estimates of prevalence and incidence of PAH in France were 15.0 cases/million of adult inhabitants and 2.4 cases/million of adult inhabitants/yr. One-year survival was 88% in the incident cohort.
Conclusions: This contemporary registry highlights current practice and shows that PAH is detected late in the course of the disease, with a majority of patients displaying severe functional and hemodynamic compromise.