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Biomarker Predicts Outcomes in Pulmonary Hypertension

Last Updated: April 02, 2009.

High blood levels of a marker of inflammation and tissue damage, C-reactive protein, are associated with disease severity and survival in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, according to a report in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- High blood levels of a marker of inflammation and tissue damage, C-reactive protein (CRP), are associated with disease severity and survival in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), according to a report in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Rozenn Quarck, Ph.D., from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues compared circulating levels of CRP in 104 patients with PAH, 79 patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and 95 healthy subjects.

The researchers found that CRP levels were significantly higher in patients with PAH and CTEPH. In PAH patients, CRP levels correlated with measures of disease severity (New York Heart Association functional class, right atrial pressure, 6-min walking distance) and were significantly higher in non-survivors. PAH patients with CRP levels above 5 mg/L had significantly lower two-year overall and event-free survival, and patients who were able to normalize their CRP levels through medication had significantly better survival. CRP levels did not correlate with disease severity in CTEPH patients, who had significantly reduced levels of CRP after pulmonary endarterectomy, the authors report.

"The present study clearly shows that circulating CRP may predict the severity and the outcome in PAH and that its sensitivity to disease-specific medication may orientate therapeutic options," Quarck and colleagues conclude.

One author disclosed a financial relationship with Actelion, Encysive, Pfizer and LungRx.

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