Schistosomiasis associated pulmonary hypertension

Authors


  • Disclosure None.

Rogerio Souza, Pulmonary Department, Heart Institute, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Av. Dr. Eneas de Carvalho Aguiar, 44, Sao Paulo 05403-000, Brazil
Tel. & Fax: + 55 11 30 69 56 95
Email: rogerio.souza@incor.usp.br

Summary

Schistosomiasis is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases, endemic in more than 70 countries, mainly within the developing world. More than 200 million people might be infected worldwide; about 20 million of those might develop severe disease. The hepatosplenic form of schistosomiasis is the most prevalent form of chronic disease, characterised by the presence of periportal fibrosis and portal hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension is a well-recognised complication of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. Recent prevalent studies revealed that schistosomiasis patients may develop precapillary and postcapillary forms of pulmonary hypertension, reinforcing the role of invasive haemodynamic measurements for the proper diagnosis. These studies also demonstrated that schistosomiasis associated pulmonary arterial hypertension may represent the most prevalent form of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Many aspects regarding the appropriate management of Sch-PAH patients still remain to be elucidated, as the use of specific PAH therapy. Although the ongoing control programmes that started within the 1980s have clearly improved the schistosomiasis cenario worldwide, Sch-PAH will be seen for decades after proper control is reached, strengthening the current need for comprehensive studies aiming to clarify the multiple mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of this particular subgroup of PAH.

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