Leflunomide-induced pulmonary hypertension in a young woman with rheumatoid arthritis: a case report.

Leflunomide, a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, has been shown to be effective in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Among other side effects, systemic hypertension has been described, and also a case of possible pulmonary hypertension (PH) has been reported. Symptomatic PH in RA is rare. We present a 28-year-old woman with a history of RA who consulted our hospital because of severe symptomatic pulmonary hypertension. Two years before admission, she was started on leflunomide. Due to previous evidence of the association of leflunomide with pulmonary hypertension, the drug was stopped. The patient became asymptomatic with normal pulmonary arterial pressure within a year. Given the poor prognosis of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, the recognition of potentially reversible causes is crucial. Until further evidence is available in a patient who develops pulmonary arterial hypertension, stopping leflunomide should be considered.
AuthorsPaulino A Alvarez, Ariel K Saad, Santiago Flagel, Octavio Mazzocchi, Manuel Vazquez Blanco
JournalCardiovascular toxicology (Cardiovasc Toxicol) Vol. 12 Issue 2 Pg. 180-3 (Jun 2012) ISSN: 1559-0259 [Electronic] United States
PMID22270725 (Publication Type: Case Reports, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Isoxazoles
  • leflunomide
  • Adult
  • Antirheumatic Agents (adverse effects)
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid (drug therapy, physiopathology)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary (chemically induced, physiopathology, ultrasonography)
  • Isoxazoles (adverse effects)

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