Schistosomiasis and pulmonary hypertension
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Schistosomiasis is one of the most prevelant parazitic diseases in the world. It is endemic in more than 70 countries, and more than 200 million people worldwide are infected with Schistosoma. Pulmonary hypertension (PHT) is one of the chronic complications of schistosomiasis. The exact pathogenesis of schistosomiasisassociated pulmonary hypertension (S-PHT) remains unclear, although several mechanisms such as parazitic arterial embolisation, pulmonary arteriopathy, and portopulmonary hypertension have been suggested. Pathological pulmonary vascular changes in S-PHT were found similar to those in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). The fact that schistosomiasis is one of the most common causes of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), particularly in the developing countries, underlines the importance of enhancing our knowledge on this disease. Developments in the treatment of PAH have resulted in improved prognosis and significant increase in life expectancy and quality of life in the last two decades, which has enhanced the importance of S-PHT. Schistosomiasis is treated with praziquantel. Nevertheless, there is limited evidence that this treatment is effective for PHT. Although antihelmintic medications do not lead to significant improvement, they have beneficial effects and may slow down disease progression. Using PAH-specific treatments in the patients with schistosomiasis-associated PAH (S-PAH) can improve prognosis. However, inadequate clinical studies and limited sources in the endemic regions restrict extensive usage of these expensive medications. Further studies are required to determine the efficacy of these treatment modalities.