Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare but debilitating disease, which if left untreated rapidly progresses to right ventricular failure and eventually death. In the quest to understand the pathogenesis of this disease differences in the profile, expression and action of vasoactive substances released by the endothelium have been identified in patients with PAH. Of these, endothelin-1 (ET-1) is of particular interest since it is known to be an extremely powerful vasoconstrictor and also involved in vascular remodelling. Identification of ET-1 as a target for pharmacological intervention has lead to the discovery of a number of compounds that can block the receptors via which ET-1 mediates its effects. This review sets out the evidence in support of a role for ET-1 in the onset and progression of the disease and reviews the data from the various clinical trials of ET-1 receptor antagonists for the treatment of PAH.