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Original Research: PULMONARY HYPERTENSION |

Sarcoidosis-Associated Pulmonary Hypertension*: Outcome With Long-term Epoprostenol Treatment

Kimberly A. Fisher, MD; David M. Serlin, MD; Kevin C. Wilson, MD; Robert E. Walter, MD; Jeffrey S. Berman, MD; Harrison W. Farber, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From The Pulmonary Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

Correspondence to: Kimberly A. Fisher, MD, UMass Memorial Medical Center-University Campus, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA 01655; e-mail: FisherK@ummhc.org



Chest. 2006;130(5):1481-1488. doi:10.1378/chest.130.5.1481
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Rationale: Pulmonary hypertension is a known complication of sarcoidosis and is associated with increased mortality. Little is known about the outcome of sarcoidosis-associated pulmonary hypertension, including response to treatment.

Objective: To determine the characteristics and outcome of patients with sarcoidosis-associated pulmonary hypertension treated with IV epoprostenol.

Design: Retrospective chart review of all cases of pulmonary hypertension with a concomitant diagnosis of sarcoidosis evaluated in the Boston University Pulmonary Hypertension Center from 2000 to 2004.

Measurements: Data collected included patient demographics, sarcoidosis stage, pulmonary function, echocardiography results, treatment, baseline and posttreatment hemodynamic measurements, and clinical outcome.

Results: Eight patients were identified; four of the patients had stage IV pulmonary sarcoidosis. Pulmonary function test results were notable for severe diffusion impairment (mean diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide, 30% of predicted), with only mild-to-moderate restrictive physiology (mean FVC, 59% of predicted). Seventy-five percent of patients required supplemental oxygen at the time of presentation. All patients had moderate or severe pulmonary hypertension and were New York Heart Association (NYHA)/World Health Organization (WHO) class III or IV. A vasodilator trial with epoprostenol was performed in seven of the eight patients; six of the seven patients had a significant hemodynamic response (> 25% reduction in pulmonary vascular resistance). All but one of the responders (five of six patients) continued on therapy. Average clinical improvement was one to two NYHA/WHO classes at a mean follow-up of 29 months (range, 15 to 49 months).

Conclusions: In patients with sarcoidosis-associated pulmonary hypertension, the severity of pulmonary vascular disease occurs out of proportion to lung function abnormalities. The majority of our patients responded to epoprostenol; survival may be improved in this group.

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