Serial development of pulmonary hypertension in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Respiration. 2008;76(3):288-94. doi: 10.1159/000114246. Epub 2008 Jan 24.


Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease with very high mortality.

Objective: We sought to characterize serial changes in pulmonary artery pressures (PAP) in patients with advanced IPF who survive to transplant.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of IPF patients comparing mean PAP at the time of initial evaluation for transplan- tation (mPAP(baseline)) with mPAP at the time of transplant (mPAP(follow-up)). The measurements were correlated with New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class and oxygen requirements.

Results: The final cohort consisted of 44 patients with serial right heart catheterization data. The mean mPAP(baseline) and mPAP(follow-up) were 22.5 and 32.7 mm Hg, respectively. 38.6% (17/44) of the patients had pulmonary hypertension (PH) at baseline. The majority of the non-PH patients developed PH during the serial time interval with a subsequent incidence of 77.8%. At the time of transplant, 86.4% of the patients had PH. There was a significant association between transplant NYHA class, severity of PH and oxygen requirements. Transplant NYHA class IV patients had a higher rate of mPAP change. The severity of PH at the time of transplant did not affect transplant outcomes.

Conclusion: PH is common and progressive in patients with advanced IPF who are transplant candidates. Serial change and severity of PAP elevations have a significant association with oxygen requirements and functional status, but not transplant outcomes. Whether or not progressive PH has a significant impact on outcomes without transplantation requires further study.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / classification
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / complications*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / mortality
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / therapy
  • Lung Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index