Response to inhaled nitric oxide predicts survival in patients with pulmonary hypertension.


OBJECTIVE: To examine the ability of vasodilator response to predict survival in a diverse cohort of patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH). PATIENTS & METHODS: A total of 214 consecutive treatment-naive patients referred for invasive PH evaluation were enrolled between November 1998 and December 2008. Vasoreactivity was assessed during inhalation of 40 parts per million nitric oxide (iNO) and vasodilator responders were defined as those participants who achieved a mean pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) of ≤ 40 mm Hg and a drop in mean PAP ≥ the median for the cohort (13%). Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to identify predictors of survival. RESULTS: There were 51 deaths (25.9%) over a mean follow-up period of 2.3 years. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that vasodilator responders had significantly improved survival (P < .01). Vasodilator responders had improved survival regardless of whether or not they had idiopathic or nonidiopathic PH (P = .02, P < .01) or whether or not they had Dana Point class 1 or non-Dana Point class 1 PH (P < .01, P = .01). In multivariate modeling, advanced age, elevated right atrial pressure, elevated serum creatinine, and worsened functional class significantly predicted shorter survival (P = .01, P = .01, P = .01, P < .01), whereas vasodilator response predicted improved survival (P = .01). CONCLUSIONS: Vasodilator responsiveness to iNO is an important method of risk stratifying PH patients, with results that apply regardless of clinical etiology.





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Krasuski, Richard A, Ganesh P Devendra, Stephen A Hart, Andrew Wang, J Kevin Harrison and Thomas M Bashore (2011). Response to inhaled nitric oxide predicts survival in patients with pulmonary hypertension. J Card Fail, 17(4). pp. 265–271. 10.1016/j.cardfail.2010.11.010 Retrieved from

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Richard Andrew Krasuski

Professor of Medicine

Dr. Richard Krasuski is Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Center at Duke University Medical Center, the Director of Hemodynamic Research, and the Medical Director of the CTEPH Program. He is considered a thought leader in the fields of pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease. His research focus is in epidemiologic and clinical studies involving patients with pulmonary hypertension and patients with congenital heart disease. He is involved in multiple multicenter studies through the Alliance for Adult Research in Congenital Cardiology (AARCC). He has also helped to develop multiple research databases in these patient populations. He is Co-PI in the upcoming EPIPHANY Study examining the impact of medical and transcatheter interventions on RV-PA coupling in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Over his career he has mentored over 80 students, residents and fellows and has published over 300 peer reviewed publications, book chapters and meeting abstracts. He is also the Chief Editor of Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension and on the editorial boards of several leading medical journals.


Andrew Wang

Professor of Medicine

Structural heart diseases, including valvular heart disease, hemodynamics, infective endocarditis, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy


John Kevin Harrison

Professor of Medicine

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