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Severe pulmonary arterial hypertension, whether idiopathic or secondary, is characterized by structural alterations of microscopically small pulmonary arterioles. The vascular lesions in this group of pulmonary hypertensive diseases show actively proliferating endothelial cells without evidence of apoptosis. In this article, we review pathogenetic concepts of severe pulmonary arterial hypertension and explain the term "complex vascular lesion ", commonly named "plexiform lesion", with endothelial cell dysfunction, i.e., apoptosis, proliferation, interaction with smooth muscle cells and transdifferentiation.
© 2009 Sakao et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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