2009 ESC/ERS pulmonary hypertension guidelines and connective tissue disease

Allergol Int. 2011 Dec;60(4):419-24. doi: 10.2332/allergolint.11-RAI-0362. Epub 2011 Oct 25.


Pulmonary hypertension was defined as mean pulmonary artery pressure ≥ 25 mmHg at the 4th World Symposium on Pulmonary Hypertension. In 2009, the European Society of Cardiology and European Respiratory Society jointly created guidelines for practical pulmonary hypertension classifications and treatments based on the discussions at the 4th World Symposium. This classification is characterized by division into five groups: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH); Pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disease; Pulmonary hypertension due to lung disease and/or hypoxia; Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension; and Pulmonary hypertension with unclear and/or multifactorial mechanisms. PAH is a common and fatal complication of connective tissue disease (CTD), but pulmonary hypertension in CTD consists of PAH, pulmonary hypertension caused by myocardial involvement, pulmonary veno-occlusive disorder, pulmonary hypertension due to interstitial lung disease. PAH has been studied widely in SSc and the estimated prevalence of 7-12%. Treatment of CTD associated PAH (CTD-PAH) consists of general therapeutic options and specific treatment. Specific treatment of CTD-PAH patients is targeted to produce vasodilatation. Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are indicated in cases where a sufficient decrease in pulmonary arterial pressure is seen in vasoreactivity testing. If vasoreactivity is absent in CTD-PAH patients, the treatment consists of the endothelin receptor antagonists, the prostacyclin analogues and phosphodiesterase-type 5 inhibitors. Few data are available to support the use of immunosuppression in CTD-PAH. However, some case reports suggested that a minority of CTD-PAH patients could benefit from immunosuppressive therapy. The treatment of CTD-PAH patients may differ from the treatment of idiopathic PAH.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Connective Tissue Diseases / complications*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / classification*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / complications
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*