Impaired right ventricular-pulmonary vascular function in myeloproliferative neoplasms

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2015 Mar;34(3):390-4. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2014.09.009. Epub 2014 Sep 28.


Background: Increased bone marrow hemangioblast numbers, alterations in erythroid/myeloid lineages, increased reticulin, and greater circulating bone marrow progenitor cells are present in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The data suggest that myeloid progenitors contribute to the pathogenesis of PAH, but there are little data on the prevalence of pulmonary vascular disease among the different forms of myeloid diseases. We hypothesized that there would be a higher prevalence of pulmonary vascular disease in myeloproliferative neoplasms that have high circulating progenitor cells, such as myelofibrosis and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), compared with those with low circulating progenitors, such as in aplastic anemia.

Methods: Patients with myelofibrosis, CML, and aplastic anemia who underwent echocardiographic evaluation of cardiac function in preparation for bone marrow transplantation at the Cleveland Clinic between 1997 and 2012 were identified and their electronic medical records were queried for demographic data, blood cell counts, and pulmonary function tests. All echocardiograms were uniformly analyzed in a blinded fashion by an advanced sonographer and cardiologist for measures of right and left ventricular function and estimation of pulmonary vascular disease.

Results: Gender and race distribution among disease groups was similar. Patients with myelofibrosis (n = 19) and aplastic anemia (n = 30) had increased right ventricle (RV) wall thickness compared with CML (n = 82) patients (aplastic anemia, 0.7 ± 0.1; CML, 0.5 ± 0.1; and myelofibrosis, 0.7 ± 0.1; p = 0.02). Patients with myelofibrosis had higher levels of estimated RV systolic pressure compared with the other groups (aplastic anemia, 29.9 ± 1.5; CML, 26.2 ± 1.1; and myelofibrosis, 36.7 ± 3.7 mm Hg; p < 0.01).

Conclusions: The findings suggest an important role for myeloid progenitors in the maintenance of pulmonary-vascular health, in which abnormal myeloproliferative progenitors are associated with RV pathology.

Keywords: chronic myelogenous leukemia; myeloid progenitors; pulmonary arterial hypertension; pulmonary vascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / complications*
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Circulation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vascular Resistance / physiology*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / etiology*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Function, Right / physiology*