Patient Registry for Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH Registry)

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Accession Number

Study Type
Epidemiology Study

Collection Type
Open BioLINCC Study See bottom of this webpage for request information

Study Period

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
January 3, 2018


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No


Establish a patient registry to evaluate the natural history, etiology, pathogenesis and treatment of primary pulmonary hypertension. Specific aims included the characterization of the demographic, medical history, family history, physical and laboratory findings of patients at time of diagnosis, and to characterize the survival duration of patients by traits evaluated at diagnosis and by medical interventions.


There are several known causes of pulmonary hypertension: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congenital heart disease, mitral stenosis, left ventricular dysfunction and recurrent pulmonary emboli. Primary Pulmonary Hypertension is a disorder of unknown etiology which is diagnosed only after the known causes of pulmonary hypertension have been eliminated. Prior to the PPH registry, little was known regarding the epidemiology, etiology, natural history or ultimate survival among patients with PPH. In 1973, the WHO met to review the current state of knowledge on PPH and proposed the establishment of a multicenter collaborative study. The NHLBI PPH registry enrolled patients in the registry from 1981 to 1985.


Patients were enrolled into the registry from 32 medical centers throughout the US. Pulmonary hypertension was defined as a mean pulmonary arterial pressure of >25 mmHg at rest or 30 mmHg with exercise at catheterization. The diagnosis of primary pulmonary hypertension was only accepted after the following secondary causes of pulmonary hypertension had been exlcuded: pulmonary hypertension within the first year of life, congenital abnormalities of the heart, lungs, or diaphragm, pulmonary thromboembolic disease, diagnosis of sickle cell anemia, history of intravenous drug abuse, obstructive lung disease, interstitial lung disease, arterial hypoxemia, collagen vascular disease, parasitic disease affecting the lungs, pulmonary artery or valve stenosis, or pulmonary venous hypertension. Baseline and follow-up data collected on patients include demographic characteristics, chest radiograph, pulmonary function tests, lung perfusion scan or pulmonary angiogram, intracardiac left-to-right shunt, pulmonary hemodynamics, as well as a history, physical findings and other laboratory measurements. Patients were followed for approximately 5 years.


There were 1.7 females for each male in the registry, and females tended to present with more severe symptoms. The mean time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was 2 years. Right ventricular hypertrophy was found in 87% of patients and right atrial pressure was elevated in 72% of patients. The estimated median survival was 2.8 years with single year survival rates of: 1 year, 68%; 3 years, 48%; and 5 years, 34%. (Ann Intern Med, 1987; 107:216-23, Ann Intern Med, 1991; 115:343-49).

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