Focus on Early Events: Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Development

Olga Rafikova, Imad Al Ghouleh, Ruslan Rafikov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Significance: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive disease of the lung vasculature characterized by the proliferation of all vascular wall cell types, including endothelial, smooth muscle, and fibroblasts. The disease rapidly advances into a form with extensive pulmonary vascular remodeling, leading to a rapid increase in pulmonary vascular resistance, which results in right heart failure. Recent Advances: Most current research in the PAH field has been focused on the late stage of the disease, largely due to an urgent need for patient treatment options in clinics. Further, the pathobiology of PAH is multifaceted in the advanced disease, and there has been promising recent progress in identifying various pathological pathways related to the late clinical picture. Critical Issues: Early stage PAH still requires additional attention from the scientific community, and although the survival of patients with early diagnosis is comparatively higher, the disease develops in patients asymptomatically, making it difficult to identify and treat early. Future Directions: There are several reasons to focus on the early stage of PAH. First, the complexity of late stage disease, owing to multiple pathways being activated in a complex system with intra- and intercellular signaling, leads to an unclear picture of the key contributors to the pathobiology. Second, an understanding of early pathophysiological events can increase the ability to identify PAH patients earlier than what is currently possible. Third, the prompt diagnosis of PAH would allow for the therapy to start earlier, which has proved to be a more successful strategy, and it ensures better survival in PAH patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-953
Number of pages21
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • hemolysis
  • inflammation
  • metabolism
  • oxidative stress
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • vascular damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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