[Pulmonary arterial hypertension in patients with congenital heart disease: current issues and health care situation]

Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2013 Jun;138(23):1247-52. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1343189. Epub 2013 May 29.
[Article in German]


Defects of the heart and associated large vessels (CHD) are among the most frequent congenital anomalies. Owing to improved interdisciplinary management, about 90% of CHD patients reach adulthood. Up to 10% maintain or newly develop pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) over time, which impairs exercise tolerance and prognosis. Data on the health care situation of patients with PAH-CHD are limited. The ongoing Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension (COMPERA, ClinTrials.gov Identifier NCT01347216) prospectively documents adult patients with all forms of pulmonary hypertension, if treated with PAH drugs (mean follow-up 40 months). As of 16 November 2012, 8% of the 3642 patients in the database had PAH-CHD. Of the latter, 104 were documented in great detail in specific CHD report forms. These patients were on average 39 years old, men in 39%, had a mean 6-minute walk distance of 370 ± 102 meters, and were in NYHA functional class I/II in 39%, III in 59%, und IV in 3%. Mean quality of life on the 100-point visual analogue scale (EQ-5 D) was 51. PAH-CHD patients received monotherapy in 80%, combination therapy in 9%, and no PAH drugs in 11%. Only 20% were on oral anticoagulation (OAC). Mean 4-year survival in incident patients (PAH-CHD diagnosis after start of the registry in 2007) was 79%, compared with 72% in patients with idiopathic PAH (IPAH). According to these registry data, patients with PAH-CHD have impaired exercise capacity, and substantially reduced quality of life. They receive combination therapy or OAC, respectively, less frequently than IPAH patients, however, their survival rate is higher.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eisenmenger Complex / diagnosis
  • Eisenmenger Complex / physiopathology
  • Eisenmenger Complex / therapy
  • Endothelin Receptor Antagonists
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy*
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / diagnosis
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / epidemiology
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / physiopathology
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / therapy
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / epidemiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy*
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Male
  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • Prostaglandins I / therapeutic use
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology
  • Quality of Life
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors


  • Anticoagulants
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Endothelin Receptor Antagonists
  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors
  • Prostaglandins I

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01347216