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Epoprostenol (Prostacyclin) and Pulmonary Hypertension

Alfred P. Fishman, MD
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University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Fishman)

Requests for Single Reprints: Alfred P. Fishman, MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1320 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021.

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Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(6):500-502. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-132-6-200003210-00013
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Pulmonary hypertension is a prevalent disorder, and the list of its causes is long and varied. Included in the list, which is densely populated by so-called secondary types of pulmonary hypertension, is the category of unexplained (primary) pulmonary hypertension, presumably the final common pathway for multiple unidentified causes. For those concerned with the pathogenesis of the more common and diverse pulmonary hypertensive disorders that make up the category of secondary pulmonary hypertension, interest in primary pulmonary hypertension is high because it represents a model of “pure” intrinsic pulmonary vascular disease, uncomplicated by concomitant disease of the heart or lungs. Those concerned with therapy continue to direct their attention at relief of pulmonary vasoconstriction, which seems to be involved in the pathogenesis of primary pulmonary hypertension (1).

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