Biomarkers in Pulmonary Vascular Disease: Gauging Response to Therapy.
Biomarkers are increasingly being investigated in the treatment of pulmonary vascular disease. In particular, the signaling pathways targeted by therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension provide biomarkers that potentially can be used to guide therapy and to assess clinical response as an alternative to invasive procedures such as right-sided cardiac catheterization. Moreover, the growing use of combination therapy for both the initial and subsequent treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension highlights the need for biomarkers in this treatment approach. Currently approved therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension target 3 major signaling pathways: the nitric oxide-soluble guanylate cyclase-cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway, the endothelin pathway, and the prostacyclin pathway. Although the main biomarker used in practice and evaluated in clinical trials is N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide, other putative biomarkers include the endogenous nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine, NO metabolites including S-nitrosothiols and nitrite, exhaled NO, endothelins, cyclic guanosine monophosphate, cyclic adenosine monophosphate, and atrial natriuretic peptide. This review describes accessible biomarkers, related to the actual molecules targeted by current therapies, for measuring and predicting response to the individual pulmonary arterial hypertension treatment classes as well as combination therapy.
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