Portopulmonary hypertension: survival and prognostic factors

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Sep 15;178(6):637-43. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200804-613OC. Epub 2008 Jul 10.


Rationale: Portopulmonary hypertension (PoPH) can be defined as elevation of pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance in the setting of portal hypertension. Survival results in PoPH are contrasting, and prognostic factors need to be identified.

Objectives: To analyze long-term survival in a large cohort of patients with PoPH with the aim of determining the independent variables affecting survival.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed charts of all patients referred to the French Referral Center for pulmonary arterial hypertension with the diagnosis of PoPH between 1984 and 2004.

Measurements and main results: The study population comprised 154 patients; 57% male. Mean age at diagnosis was 49 +/- 11 years, 60% of patients were in New York Heart Association functional class III-IV, and mean 6-minute walk distance was 326 +/- 116 m. Hemodynamic measurements showed a mean pulmonary arterial pressure of 53 +/- 13 mm Hg, cardiac index of 2.9 +/- 0.9 L/min/m(2), and pulmonary vascular resistance of 752 +/- 377 dyn/s/cm(5). Portal hypertension was related to cirrhosis in 136 patients, with a severity assessed as follows: Child-Pugh class A 51%, Child-Pugh class B 38%, Child-Pugh class C 11%. Overall survival rates at 1, 3, and 5 yr were 88, 75, and 68%, respectively. Multivariate regression analysis individualized the presence and severity of cirrhosis and cardiac index as major independent prognostic factors.

Conclusions: Prognosis in PoPH is mainly related to the presence and severity of cirrhosis and to cardiac function. The place of pulmonary arterial hypertension-specific therapies remains to be determined in the setting of PoPH.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / mortality*
  • Hypertension, Portal / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / mortality*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / surgery
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Liver Cirrhosis / epidemiology
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vascular Resistance
  • Ventricular Function, Right