SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL of the Hungarian Society of Cardiology

The Role of Prostacyclins in the Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

█ Review

Ágoston Gergely1,2
1Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Általános Orvostudományi Kar, Családorvosi Intézet
2Szegedi Tudományegyetem, II-es Belgyógyászati Klinika és Kardiológiai Központ


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by increased pulmonary vascular resistance, which leads to limited pulmonary arterial blood flow and elevated pulmonary arterial pressure. In patients with PAH, the concentrations of prostacyclins are reduced in the pulmonary circulation and this phenomenon leads to the imbalance between the vasoconstrictor and vasodilator forces in the pulmonary circulation. To relief, this balance, epoprostenol, or analogs of prostacyclin have been given therapeutically. These therapies improve exercise capacity, functional class and hemodynamic status of the patients. In addition, epoprostenol improves survival among patients with PAH. Despite their therapeutic benefits, treatments that target the prostacyclin pathway are underused. One key factor is their requirement for parenteral administration. Nevertheless, targeting the prostacyclin pathway is important and in several cases essential strategy for the treatment of PAH. The continuous development of oral therapies for this pathway, as well as more user-friendly delivery devices, may alleviate some of the inconveniences.


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