Pulmonary hypertension in sarcoidosis: A review


  • Conflict of Interest statement: T.C. has received compensation from Pfizer UK, Actelion UK and GSK for travel to conferences, and has received an educational grant from Actelion UK. A.W. and S.W. have received compensation from Pfizer UK, Actelion UK and GSK for travel to conferences, and speaking engagements, and have received educational grants from Actelion UK.

Stephen J. Wort, Pulmonary Hypertension Unit, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London SW3 6NP, England, UK. Email: s.wort@imperial.ac.uk


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a well-recognized complication of sarcoidosis. Patients with sarcoidosis-associated PH (SAPH) have poorer functional status and greater supplemental oxygen requirements than sarcoidosis patients without PH, and are more likely to be listed for lung transplantation. PH is an independent risk factor for mortality in sarcoidosis patients awaiting lung transplantation. The pathophysiology of SAPH is complex, with multiple mechanisms contributing to pathogenesis, including the fibrous destruction of the pulmonary vascular bed, extrinsic compression of the central pulmonary vessels and an intrinsic vasculopathy. Recognition of SAPH may be delayed as it can be masked by the clinical picture of underlying pulmonary sarcoidosis, and right heart catheter remains the gold-standard for diagnosis. Management of SAPH is based on reversal of resting hypoxaemia, treatment of comorbidities and treatment of the underlying sarcoidosis. The use of corticosteroids in SAPH is controversial. Specific PH therapy is not routinely recommended in SAPH as there are no successful placebo-controlled trials, although there is limited data to suggest that endothelin receptor antagonists and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors may be useful.