Clinical characteristics of pulmonary hypertension in patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction

Thenappan Thenappan, Sanjiv J. Shah, Mardi Gomberg-Maitland, Brett Collander, Ajay Vallakati, Pranavkumar Shroff, Stuart Rich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

218 Scopus citations


Background-Pulmonary vascular disease associated with left-side heart failure and preserved ejection fraction (PH-HFpEF) is an increasingly common cause of pulmonary hypertension. The distinction between PH-HFpEF and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is important because therapies indicated for PAH can be detrimental in HFpEF. The characteristic features of PH-HFpEF are understudied. Methods and Results-In a cross-sectional study, we compared the clinical, echocardiographic, and hemodynamic features of PH-HFpEF (n=100), with PAH (n=522), and HFpEF without pulmonary vascular disease (n=45). We determined the clinical characteristics that best differentiated PH-HFpEF from PAH. Compared with patients with PAH, patients with PH-HFpEF were older; had a higher prevalence of cardiovascular comorbidities; had worse exercise capacity and renal function; more frequently had left atrial enlargement; and less frequently had right atrial enlargement. PH was less severe in PH-HFpEF patients than in PAH patients (pulmonary vascular resistance 4.8 [interquartile range 3 to 8.4] versus 10.9 [interquartile range 7.4 to 15.7] Wood units; P<0.001). Old age, the presence of hypertension and coronary artery disease, the absence of right atrial enlargement, higher aortic systolic pressure, higher mean right atrial pressure, and higher cardiac output best differentiated PH-HFpEF from PAH (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve; curve 0.97). Compared with HFpEF patients without pulmonary hypertension, PH-HFpEF patients were often female and more symptomatic, more often had right ventricular hypertrophy and right atrial enlargement, and had higher right atrial pressure. Conclusions-These data should help better identify PH-HFpEF, an entity that has become increasingly recognized and difficult to treat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation: Heart Failure
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Hemodynamics
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Pulmonary vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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