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Estrogen Treatment May Help Reverse Severe Pulmonary Hypertension

Posted Sep 16 2011 5:34pm

UCLA researchers have found that the hormone estrogen may help reverse advanced pulmonary hypertension, a rare and serious condition that affects 2 million to 3 million individuals in the U.S., mostly women, and can lead to heart failure.

The condition causes a progressive increase in blood pressure in the main pulmonary artery, which originates in the heart’s right ventricle and delivers blood to the lungs. The rise in pressure impairs heart function by enlarging the right ventricle, potentially leading to heart failure.

Published in the Sept. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the preclinical study shows that in rats, estrogen treatment can reverse the progression of pulmonary hypertension to heart failure and can restore lung and ventricle structure and function.

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