Plasma endothelin concentrations in patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with congenital heart defects. Evidence for increased production of endothelin in pulmonary circulation.
BACKGROUND To elucidate the pathophysiological significance of endothelin in pulmonary hypertension associated with congenital heart defects, we measured plasma endothelin-like immunoreactivity (ET-LI) concentrations by using radioimmunoassay in 18 patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH group; age, 6 months to 12 years) in comparison with 27 patients without pulmonary hypertension (non-PH group; age, 6 months to 12 years).
METHODS AND RESULTS Blood samples were obtained from the vena cava, right atrium, right ventricle, left or right pulmonary artery, and pulmonary vein or the pulmonary arterial wedge position (pulmonary venous blood) during cardiac catheterization. Plasma ET-LI concentrations in the PH group were significantly higher than those in the non-PH group at all sampling sites. In the PH group, plasma ET-LI concentration showed a significant increase between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery and between the pulmonary artery and pulmonary vein. The increment of plasma ET-LI concentrations from the right ventricle to the pulmonary vein was significantly larger in the PH group than in the non-PH group and was significantly correlated with pulmonary artery pressure.
CONCLUSIONS Plasma ET-LI concentrations were elevated in patients with pulmonary hypertension; the elevation was due to the increased production of ET-LI in pulmonary circulation, indicating the possible involvement of endothelin in the pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertension.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association