Pulmonary vascular remodeling is the critical structural alteration and pathological feature in pulmonary hypertension (PH) and involves changes in the intima, media and adventitia. Pulmonary vascular remodeling consists of the proliferation and phenotypic transformation of pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAECs) and pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) of the middle membranous pulmonary artery, as well as complex interactions involving external layer pulmonary artery fibroblasts (PAFs) and extracellular matrix (ECM). Inflammatory mechanisms, apoptosis and other factors in the vascular wall are influenced by different mechanisms that likely act in concert to drive disease progression. This article reviews these pathological changes and highlights some pathogenetic mechanisms involved in the remodeling process.
Keywords: adventitia; extracellular matrix; intima; media; pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary vascular remodeling.