Predicting the Need for Upfront Combination Therapy in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Abubakr A. Bajwa, Tauseef Qureshi, Adil Shujaat, Vandana Seeram, Lisa M. Jones, Farah Al-Saffar, James D. Cury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Combination therapy is commonly used for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) treatment. We aimed to identify factors that may predict the need for future combination therapy. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of consecutive patients with PAH in an aim to describe baseline clinical, echocardiogram, and hemodynamic characteristics of patients who eventually required combination therapy during the course of their disease and compared them to the ones who were maintained on monotherapy. Results: The monotherapy group was followed for an average of 31.8±18.8 months and the combination therapy group was followed for an average of 28.7 ± 13.6 months. Among the 71 patients analyzed, a significantly higher number of patients who eventually required combination therapy belonged to World Health Organization functional class 3 (45% vs 37%) and 4 (23% vs 0) at baseline, compared with those on monotherapy (P < .05). Combination group also had a higher Registry to Evaluate Early And Long-term PAH Disease Management (REVEAL) PAH risk score at presentation. End of 6-minute walk test (6MWT), oxygen saturation (SpO2) was also lower in the combination therapy group, 86% ± 8% versus 91% ± 7% (P < .05). Patients who eventually required combination therapy were more frequently noticed to have right ventricular enlargement, right atrial enlargement, and had a higher resting estimated right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP). Right heart catheterization-derived hemodynamics data at baseline showed that the combination therapy group had a higher mean pulmonary artery (PA) pressure, lower pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, lower cardiac output, and higher pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). Onunivariate analysis, only PVR≥300 dyne·s/cm5, mean PA pressure of≥40mmHg, estimated RVSP≥60mmHg, PAH risk score≥10, and end of6MWTsaturation of≤90% were of significance. Conclusion: Patients with PAH who require combination therapy in the course of their disease have worse hemodynamics, PAH risk score, functional class, and end of 6MWT oxygen saturation at the time of presentation compared to patients maintained on monotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-400
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 19 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular disease
  • combination therapy
  • predictors
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension


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