Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri



A case of pulmonary hypertension associated with myelofibrosis: therapeutical challenges from acute to chronic setting

Bignami Lorenzo Verona(Verona) РOspedale Civile Borgo Trento Università di Verona | Picariello Claudio Rovigo(Rovigo) РOspedale Civile Santa Maria della Misericordia | Diaferio Antonio Mattia Verona(Verona) РOspedale Civile Borgo Trento Università di Verona

A 85-year-old female was transferred to our ICCU for acute heart failure from one of our spoke hospitals. The patient had a long history of chronic myelofibrosis, treated with fedratinib as a second-line agent after ruxolitinib failure. During a recent hospital admission, transthoracic echocardiography already showed signs of severe pulmonary hypertension (PH) with right ventricular (RV) dysfunction, so diuretic was started. On admission the patient presented showed consistent with acute on chronic kidney injury (serum Cr 3.2 mg/dl), stable anemia (Hb 9.2 mg/dl) and markedly elevated Nt-proBNP. A pulmonary CT-scan excluded acute pulmonary embolism and lung parenchymal alterations, with a clear dilation of main pulmonary artery. Transthoracic echocardiography (figure 1) confirmed precapillary PH phenotype diagnosis. Electrocardiogram (figure 2) showed sinus rhythm; incomplete RBBB, T wave inversion in V2 to V4. The patient was initially treated with high dose furosemide, low flow oxygen; but later she needed multiple cycles of inotropes, vasopressors and combined diuretic therapy (metolazone and acetazolamide) to stabilize the clinical setting. The patient also experienced episodes of paroxysmal high ventricular rate atrial flutter. After resolution of volume overload, a right heart catheterization was performed and findings were consistent with severe precapillary pulmonary hypertension: PA pressure 90/58/40 mmHg, normal PCWP, high PVR, mild cardiac index reduction. Due to critical clinical situation, Sildenafil 20 mg was started as an off-label therapy for PH (group 5). Subsequently, the patient experienced gradual but constant hemodynamic and clinical improvement and was discharged in NYHA class II. At 1 month control, patient was stable, echocardiogram revealed improvement in right ventricle dimension, systolic function and right atrial enlargement. At three months, patient is still in an intermediate risk class for PH, so we are evaluating a combination therapy (either endothelin receptor antagonist or prostanoids), taking into account anemia and thrombocytopenia.

Take home message: PH can be a complication of hematological disorders as myelofibrosis, included in “mixed” forms (group 5) of PH. In our patient, after a challenging management for acute right heart failure, an off-label PDE-5 inhibitor stabilized the clinical scenario: more data are needed on PH drugs use in this setting where up to now therapeutic strategies are lacking