Pulmonary arterial hypertension specific therapy: The old and the new

Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Oct:214:107576. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2020.107576. Epub 2020 May 15.


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a vascular disorder associated with high morbidity and mortality rate and is characterized by pulmonary vascular remodeling and increased pulmonary vascular resistance, ultimately resulting in right ventricular failure and death. Over the past few decades, significant advances in the understanding of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and pathophysiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension have occured. This has led to the development of disease specific treatment including prostanoids, endothelin receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, and soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators. These therapies significantly improve exercise capacity, quality of life, pulmonary hemodynamics, but none of the current treatments are actually curative and long-term prognosis remains poor. Thus, there is a clear need to develop new therapies. Several potential pharmacologic agents for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension are under clinical development and some promising results with these treatments have been reported. These agents include tyrosine protein kinase inhibitors, rho-kinase inhibitors, synthetically produced vasoactive intestinal peptide, antagonists of the 5-HT2 receptors, and others. This article will review several of these promising new therapies and will discuss the current evidence regarding their potential benefit in pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arterial Pressure / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension / mortality
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Artery / drug effects*
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents