Pulmonary hypertension associated with veno-occlusive disease in systemic sclerosis: Insight into the mechanism of resistance to vasodilator

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Abstract

We report a case with pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD) associated with systemic sclerosis which exhibits strong resistance to pulmonary vasodilator.A 55-year-old female with severe pulmonary hypertension was admitted to our hospital to be introduced to epoprostenol infusion therapy. She was diagnosed as having pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) associated with systemic sclerosis at the age of 51. Several aggressive treatments with pulmonary vasodilators, including oral prostaglandin, endothelin receptor antagonists, and phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, failed to improve her symptoms. We introduced continuous intravenous epoprostenol therapy from 2. μg/kg/min for her. However, pulmonary edema appeared and worsened in a dose-dependent manner. We made a diagnosis of PVOD clinically at that time. Thereafter, pulmonary edema gradually disappeared consistent with the reduction of the dose of epoprostenol infusion. She died of renal failure and infection 4. months after the introduction of epoprostenol infusion therapy. A histological examination revealed severe stenosis and occlusions of pulmonary veins as well as pulmonary arteries over a wide area. We suggest that prevalence of veno-occlusive type of disease could be one of the major mechanisms of less responsive or even refractory to pulmonary vasodilator therapies in patients with PAH associated with connective tissue disease. © 2011 Japanese College of Cardiology.

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Tada, H., Konno, T., Aizu, M., Yokawa, J., Tsubokawa, T., Fujii, H., … Yamagishi, M. (2012). Pulmonary hypertension associated with veno-occlusive disease in systemic sclerosis: Insight into the mechanism of resistance to vasodilator. Journal of Cardiology Cases, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jccase.2011.11.001

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