Pulmonary arterial hypertension presents a diagnostic challenge and is difficult to manage. Critical care nurses play a pivotal role in the treatment and education of these patients. This article reviews current advances in prostacyclin therapy.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive, life-threatening, incurable disease. It is characterized by mean pulmonary artery pressure greater than 25 mm Hg at rest or 30 mm Hg with activity.11,22 Pulmonary hypertension was once differentiated into primary and secondary forms but was reclassified in 1998 after the World Health Organization symposium on pulmonary hypertension. This reclassification was designed to reflect clinical patterns of disease. The current classification is based on differences between primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) and pulmonary hypertension of certain known causes.11,33 These types of hypertension differ with respect to patients’ clinical manifestations and...

You do not currently have access to this content.