The American College of Chest Physicians releases updated PAH guidelines

The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) announced today the Online First publication of Pharmacological Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Adults: CHEST Guideline in the journal Chest. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare form of pulmonary hypertension, can strike anyone, but individuals with connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma, liver disease, or HIV infection, are more likely than the general population to have PAH. These new guidelines provide recommendations to help clinicians manage PAH using the latest drug therapies.

"Treatment of PAH has become a challenging field to keep abreast of due to the increasing number of medications and the large volume of data provided by the clinical studies responsible for their approval. The newly updated CHEST guidelines provide the clinician with a comprehensive approach to the medical management of adult patients with PAH," said guideline panelist, James R. Klinger, MD, FCCP, Professor of Medicine, Brown University, and PAH guideline topic editor.

PAH is a condition in which the pulmonary arteries carrying blood from the heart to lungs become abnormally narrowed. The condition causes the blood pressure within the lungs to rise. The condition worsens over time and becomes life-threatening when the pressure in the rises high enough to put a strain on the heart. In addition, the diagnosis of PAH is frequently delayed due to the nonspecific nature of the symptoms.

Despite recent growth in therapeutic options, questions remain regarding pharmacological treatments. Pharmacological Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Adults: CHEST Guideline contains 79 recommendations and expert consensus statements to aid clinicians in the management of PAH using the latest drug therapies for adults with the condition. The complete Pharmacological Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Adults: CHEST Guideline is available in the June 17, 2014, Online First edition of the journal Chest.

"While these guidelines highlight the best options for treatment today, the process of creating these guidelines shines a light on the lack of sufficient evidence to support stronger recommendations. There are still considerable gaps in trials, research, and understanding the disease," said Darren Taichman, MD, PhD, FCCP, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and PAH guideline panel chair. "We hope the community of academic and industry-based researchers will choose carefully those studies that will answer the most important clinical questions so as to best use the limited but generous efforts of our patients, who risk their well-being as volunteer participants in clinical studies."

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