Treatment of pulmonary hypertension with left heart disease: a concise review

Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2017 Nov 6;13:415-420. doi: 10.2147/VHRM.S111597. eCollection 2017.


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is defined by a mean pulmonary artery pressure ≥ 25 mmHg, as determined by right heart catheterization. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) can no longer be considered an orphan disease given the increase in awareness and availability of new drugs. PH carries with it a dismal prognosis and leads to significant morbidity and mortality. Symptoms can range from dyspnea, fatigue and chest pain to right ventricular failure and death. PH is divided into five groups by the World Health Organization (WHO), based on etiology. The most common cause of PH in developed countries is left heart disease (group 2), owing to the epidemic of heart failure (HF). The data regarding prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of patients with group 2 PH is unclear as large, prospective, randomized controlled trials and standardized protocols do not exist. Current guidelines do not support the use of PAH-specific therapy in patients with group 2 PH. Prostacyclins, endothelin receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors and guanylate cyclase stimulators have been tried in treatment of patients with HF and/or group 2 PH with mixed results. This review summarizes and critically appraises the evidence for diagnosis and treatment of patients with group 2 PH/HF and suggests directions for future research.

Keywords: diagnosis; left heart disease; pulmonary hypertension; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arterial Pressure / drug effects*
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / epidemiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Artery / drug effects*
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasodilator Agents / adverse effects
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects*
  • Ventricular Remodeling / drug effects


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents