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Ann Transplant 2000; 5(3): 8-12
Pulmonary hypertension can be associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COP D). Mild to moderate elevations in pulmonary artery pressures are commonly reported. Previous studies included patients initially diagnosed with COPD and subsequently evaluated for pulmonary hypertension. The occurrence of COPD in patients being evaluated for pulmonary hypertension has not been reported. We performed a retrospective chart review of approximately 600 patients evaluated in a large tertiary care pulmonary hypertension clinic. Subjects were included if they were older than 40 years, had no other secondary causes of pulmonary hypertension and had evidence of COPD by pulmonary function studies or thoracic computed tomography. Criteria was met by five subjects (3 males and 2 females, mean age = 65 years) all of whom were past smokers. The average mean pulmonary artery pressure (MPAP) was 59:t7 mm Hg. The mean pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) was 15.2:t5 mmHg/liter/min. Only one patient had a fall in MPAP of more than 10% and a greater than 30% decline in PVR following infusion of adenosine to test vasodilator responsiveness. COPD is rare in a population referred primarily for evaluation of pulmonary hypertension. Although infrequent, severe pulmonary hypertension may be associated with COPD.