The current treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension: Time to redefine success

Stuart Rich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


In the past decade, three classes of medications have been approved for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. A review of the clinical trial data for the prostanoids, endothelin antagonists, and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors has shown that all agents have similar efficacy on the 6-min walk distance over 12 to 16 weeks, which was the primary end point in the randomized clinical trials. However, little is known about their long-term efficacy or about how these drugs affect the underlying disease, if at all. Successful therapy is currently defined as an improvement in exercise tolerance over a 4-month period. Future trials need to better characterize how therapies affect the pulmonary vasculature pathologically, biologically, and hemodynamically, and whether survival is actually improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1198-1202
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Bosentan
  • Clinical trials
  • Prostacyclin
  • Sildenafil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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