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Protocol Details

A Natural History Study of Novel Biomarkers in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

This study is currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Participants currently recruited/enrolled
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 18 Years
Max Age: 100 Years

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)



Vascular Inflammation;
Right Ventricular Function;
Endothelial Dysfunction;
Magnetic Resonance Imaging;
Natural History

Recruitment Keyword(s)



Pulmonary Disease;
Pulmonary Hypertension

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)




Supporting Site

NIH Clinical Center


- High blood pressure in the lungs, known as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), is a rare disorder. Some people have disease-associated PAH and some have PAH from an unknown cause. Researchers want to follow the natural history of all PAH patients to understand how PAH progresses in order to discover targets for future research into new treatments. To further identify treatment targets, they will compare healthy volunteers to patients with PAH.


- To study the natural history of PAH.


- Individuals at least 18 years of age who have PAH.

- Healthy volunteers at least 18 years of age.


- Participants with PAH will have periodic visits to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. After the first visit, they will return in 6 months and then yearly or every other year for as long as the study continues.

- The first visit will take up to 3 days. It will involve the following tests:

- Physical exam and medical history

- Blood and urine samples

- Heart and lung function tests and imaging studies

- Six-minute walk test

- Questions about exercise and physical activity

- Healthy volunteers will have only one visit to the Clinical Center, during which they will undergo screening tests, and complete many of the same tests as patients with PAH

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Inclusion Criteria for PAH Subjects:

The following parameters on RHC are required to meet the hemodynamic definition of PAH (NYHA/WHO Group I PH):

-- mean pulmonary artery pressure of greater than 25 mmHg at rest,

-- pulmonary capillary wedge pressure of less than or equal to 15 mmHg (or a left ventricular end-diastolic pressure of less than or equal to 12mmHg) and

-- pulmonary vascular resistance of greater than 3 Wood units (240 dyn s cm(5)).

For patients with suspected PAH (Group I PH) who have not undergone a RHC and/or additional testing to confirm the diagnosis, this testing will be completed as clinically indicated under a procedural consent. If clinically indicated (diagnostic) testing indicates that the subject with suspected PAH does not in fact meet standard criteria for PAH (Group I PH), then the subject will be removed from the study.

Exclusion Criteria for PAH Subjects:

--Pregnant or breastfeeding women (all women of childbearing potential will be required to have a screening urine or blood pregnancy test)

--Age less than 18 years

--Inability to provide informed written consent for participation in the study


Inclusion Criteria for Control Subjects

Any healthy man or woman who is the appropriate age and gender for matching to a PAH patient

-- Must be eligible for MRI and Gadolinium Based MRI studies

-- Must be eligible for CT and Iodine Based Contrast CT studies

Exclusion Criteria for Healthy Control Subjects

-- Current pregnancy or breastfeeding (All women of childbearing potential will be required to have a screening urine or blood pregnancy test)

-- Electrocardiographic evidence of clinically relevant heart disease

-- Symptoms of coronary or cardiac insufficiency

-- More than one major risk factor for coronary artery disease (excluding age and gender)

-- Obesity (defined as a body mass index > 30 kg/m(2))

-- History of underlying conditions/risk factors associated with pulmonary hypertension such as collagen vascular disease, HIV infection, use of appetite suppressants, chronic liver disease or cirrhosis of the liver, chronic thromboembolic disease, congenital heart defects, hypoxemia and/or significant pulmonary parenchymal disease

-- Systemic hypertension that is not well controlled (i.e. blood pressure at the time of screening greater than or equal to140/90 mmHg) in adults < 60 years old or greater than or equal to 150/90 mmHg in adults 60 years or older) on medications. Subjects taking > 2 anti-hypertensive medications will be excluded irrespective of their current blood pressure at time of screening

-- Anemia, thrombocytopenia or coagulopathy

-- Renal insufficiency (defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate of < 60 mL/min/1.73m(2) of body surface area)

-- Active tobacco use (> 6 months) in the past ten years, any tobacco use within 3 months prior to the screening evaluation or any tobacco use prior to completion of the study

-- Inability to provide informed written consent for participation in the study

-- History of recreational drug use with the exception of marijuana (as long as marijuana use was > 3 months from the time of study screening).

Exclusion Criteria for MRI in Healthy Control Subjects and Subjects with PAH

These contraindications include but are not limited to the following devices or conditions:

1) Implanted cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator

2) Cochlear Implants

3) Ocular foreign body (e.g. metal shavings)

4) Embedded shrapnel fragments

5) Central nervous system aneurysm clips

6) Implanted neural stimulator

7) Any implanted device that is incompatible with MRI

8) Unsatisfactory performance status as judged by the referring physician such that the subject could not tolerate an MRI scan. Examples of medical conditions that would not be accepted would include unstable angina and severe dyspnea at rest

9) Subjects requiring monitored sedation for MRI studies

10) Subjects with a condition precluding entry into the scanner (e.g. morbid obesity, claustrophobia, etc.)

11) Subjects with severe back-pain or motion disorders who will be unable to tolerate supine positioning within the MRI scanner and hold still for the duration of the examination.

Exclusion Criteria for Gadolinium Based MRI Studies Only:

1) History of severe allergic reaction to gadolinium contrast agents despite pre- medication with diphenhydramine and prednisone

2) Chronic kidney disease (an estimated glomerular filtration rate of < 60 mL/min/1.73m(2) of body surface area)

Exclusion Criteria for Cardiac Computed Tomography in Healthy Control Subjects and Subjects with PAH:

1) Subjects with a condition precluding entry into the scanner (e.g. morbid

obesity, claustrophobia, etc.)

Exclusion Criteria for Iodine Based Contrast CTA Studies Only:

1) Serum creatinine > 1.4 mg/dL

2) History of multiple myeloma

3) Use of metformin-containing products less than 24 hours prior to contrast administration

4) History of significant allergic reaction to CTA contrast agents despite premedication with diphenhydramine and prednisone

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Badesch DB, Raskob GE, Elliott CG, Krichman AM, Farber HW, Frost AE, Barst RJ, Benza RL, Liou TG, Turner M, Giles S, Feldkircher K, Miller DP, McGoon MD. Pulmonary arterial hypertension: baseline characteristics from the REVEAL Registry. Chest. 2010 Feb;137(2):376-87. Epub 2009 Oct 16.

Rubin LJ. Primary pulmonary hypertension. Chest. 1993 Jul;104(1):236-50.

D'Alonzo GE, Barst RJ, Ayres SM, Bergofsky EH, Brundage BH, Detre KM, Fishman AP, Goldring RM, Groves BM, Kernis JT, et al. Survival in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension. Results from a national prospective registry. Ann Intern. Med. 1991 Sep 1;115(5):343-9.

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Michael A. Solomon, M.D.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
(301) 496-9320

Grace M. Graninger, R.N.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
National Institutes of Health
Building 10
Room 2C145
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
(301) 496-9320

Office of Patient Recruitment
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Building 61, 10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
Local Phone: 301-451-4383
TTY: TTY Users Dial 7-1-1

Clinical Trials Number:


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