An Update on Medical Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
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- Cite this article as:
- Wu, Y., O’Callaghan, D.S. & Humbert, M. Curr Hypertens Rep (2013) 15: 614. doi:10.1007/s11906-013-0394-8
Over the past 20 years, great progress has been made in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Available therapies target one of three principal pathways: the endothelin (ET), nitric oxide (NO) or the prostacyclin (PGI2) pathway. Evidence shows that current drugs, used either as monotherapy or in different combinations, can improve exercise capacity, clinical symptoms, hemodynamics and even survival in PAH. Unfortunately, the disease remains incurable and the prognosis of the disease is still poor. However, existing and novel potent antiproliferative therapies are being explored, and new agents targeting different and/or additional pathways are likely to become available to clinicians in the near future. Promising candidates include tyrosine kinase antagonists (e.g. imatinib); soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators (riociguat); an oral analog of prostacyclin (selexipag); and a tissue targeting endothelin receptor antagonist (macitentan). Phase II or III trials have either been completed or are underway to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these various therapies.