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1.  Plasma endothelin-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor levels and their relationship to hemodynamics in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 
Background
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is associated with a poor prognosis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Endothelin-1 (ET-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are important in both fibrosis and vascular remodeling.
Objectives
We sought to determine the relationship between ET-1 and VEGF levels and hemodynamics in patients with IPF. We hypothesized that higher levels of ET-1 and VEGF would be associated with higher pulmonary artery pressures (PAP) and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) in patients with IPF.
Methods
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 52 adults with IPF enrolled in a prospective cohort with available clinical data, platelet-free plasma, and hemodynamics. ET-1 and VEGF levels were measured via immunoassay. The associations of ET-1 and VEGF with PAP and PVR were examined using generalized additive models adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and forced vital capacity (% predicted).
Results
Sixteen of 52 (30.8%) had PH (mean PAP ≥ 25 mmHg). After multivariable adjustment, higher ET-1 levels were significantly associated with higher systolic (p = 0.01), diastolic (p = 0.02), and mean (p = 0.01) PAP and possibly higher PVR (p = 0.09). There were no significant associations between VEGF levels and hemodynamics.
Conclusions
Higher levels of ET-1 were associated with higher PAP and possibly higher PVR in participants with IPF. In a sub-group of patients, ET-1 may be a contributor to pulmonary vascular disease burden in IPF.
doi:10.1159/000339105
PMCID: PMC3495134  PMID: 22869459
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; endothelin-1; vascular endothelial growth factor; biomarkers; pulmonary hypertension
2.  The renin-angiotensin system and right ventricular structure and function: The MESA-Right Ventricle Study 
Pulmonary Circulation  2012;2(3):379-386.
The pulmonary vasculature is an important site of renin-angiotensin metabolism. While angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (collectively AIABs) have a role in left ventricular (LV) disease, the impact of AIABs on right ventricular (RV) function is unknown. AIAB use was determined by medication inventory during the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis baseline examination. RV measures were obtained via cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. The relationship between AIAB use and RV measures was assessed using multivariable linear regression, stratified by race/ethnicity, and adjusted for multiple covariates. AIAB use was associated with lower RV mass (-0.7 g, 95% confidence interval [CI] -1.3 to -0.1, P=0.03) in African Americans (N=1012) after adjustment for multiple covariates including LV mass. Among Caucasians (N=1591), AIAB use was associated with larger RV end-diastolic volume (3.7 mL, 95% CI 0.7-6.8, P=0.02) after adjustment for LV volume. No significant associations were seen between AIAB use and other RV measures or in Hispanic or Chinese American participants. AIAB use was associated with RV morphology in a race-specific and LV-independent manner, suggesting the renin-angiotensin system may play a unique role in RV structure and function. The use of AIABs in those with RV dysfunction warrants further study.
doi:10.4103/2045-8932.101657
PMCID: PMC3487307  PMID: 23130107
angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor; angiotensin II receptor blockers; right ventricle; epidemiology; renin-angiotensin system
3.  Sex Hormones Are Associated with Right Ventricular Structure and Function 
Rationale: Sex hormones have effects on the left ventricle, but hormonal influences on the right ventricle (RV) are unknown.
Objectives: We hypothesized that sex hormones would be associated with RV morphology in a large cohort free of cardiovascular disease.
Methods: Sex hormones were measured by immunoassay and RV ejection fraction (RVEF), stroke volume (RVSV), mass, end-diastolic volume, and end-systolic volume (RVESV) were measured by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in 1,957 men and 1,738 postmenopausal women. The relationship between each hormone and RV parameter was assessed by multivariate linear regression.
Measurements and Main Results: Higher estradiol levels were associated with higher RVEF (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], 0.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32 to 1.43; P = 0.002) and lower RVESV (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], −0.87; 95% CI, −1.67 to −0.08; P = 0.03) in women using hormone therapy. In men, higher bioavailable testosterone levels were associated with higher RVSV (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], 1.97; 95% CI, 0.20 to 3.73; P = 0.03) and greater RV mass and volumes (P ≤ 0.01). Higher dehydroepiandrosterone levels were associated with higher RVSV (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], 1.37; 95% CI, 0.15 to 2.59; P = 0.03) and greater RV mass (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], 0.25; 95% CI, 0.00 to 0.49; P = 0.05) and volumes (P ≤ 0.001) in women.
Conclusions: Higher estradiol levels were associated with better RV systolic function in women using hormone therapy. Higher levels of androgens were associated with greater RV mass and volumes in both sexes.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201007-1027OC
PMCID: PMC3081282  PMID: 20889903
sex; sex hormones; right ventricle
4.  Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Use Is Associated with Right Ventricular Structure and Function: The MESA-Right Ventricle Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e30480.
Purpose
Serotonin and the serotonin transporter have been implicated in the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may have a role in PH treatment, but the effects of SSRI use on right ventricular (RV) structure and function are unknown. We hypothesized that SSRI use would be associated with RV morphology in a large cohort without cardiovascular disease (N = 4114).
Methods
SSRI use was determined by medication inventory during the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis baseline examination. RV measures were assessed via cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. The cross-sectional relationship between SSRI use and each RV measure was assessed using multivariable linear regression; analyses for RV mass and end-diastolic volume (RVEDV) were stratified by sex.
Results
After adjustment for multiple covariates including depression and left ventricular measures, SSRI use was associated with larger RV stroke volume (RVSV) (2.75 mL, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.48–5.02 mL, p = 0.02). Among men only, SSRI use was associated with greater RV mass (1.08 g, 95% CI 0.19–1.97 g, p = 0.02) and larger RVEDV (7.71 mL, 95% 3.02–12.40 mL, p = 0.001). SSRI use may have been associated with larger RVEDV among women and larger RV end-systolic volume in both sexes.
Conclusions
SSRI use was associated with higher RVSV in cardiovascular disease-free individuals and, among men, greater RV mass and larger RVEDV. The effects of SSRI use in patients with (or at risk for) RV dysfunction and the role of sex in modifying this relationship warrant further study.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030480
PMCID: PMC3281845  PMID: 22363441

Results 1-4 (4)