Pulmonary hypertension in advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Randy Orr, Lewis J. Smith, Michael J. Cuttica*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Pulmonary hypertension is a common complication seen in patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Information related to the true prevalence, implications for functional outcomes, pathogenesis, and therapeutic options available has been lacking. The purpose of this review is to summarize some exciting findings from the last several years that address these holes in our knowledge. RECENT FINDINGS: Several recent studies have explored the prevalence and the functional implications of pulmonary hypertension for patients with COPD. These highlight the importance of clearly defining pulmonary hypertension that can be quite heterogeneous in this patient population. Furthermore, the concept that pulmonary hypertension in COPD is merely driven by hypoxic vasoconstriction has been called into question by several lines of investigation that suggest a much more complex pathogenesis potentially occurring independently of hypoxemia. Finally, there has been much interest in exploring pulmonary hypertension-specific therapies in patients with COPD, but available data to support their use are limited. SUMMARY: The recent findings summarized here have expanded our knowledge regarding this important comorbidity in patients with advanced COPD. We now know that pulmonary hypertension is common, has clear effects on both morbidity and mortality, and has a complex pathophysiology that we are only beginning to understand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in pulmonary medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


  • 6-min walk distance
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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