Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author's final published version available in Pulmonary Circulation, Volume 12, Issue 3, July 2022, Article number e12135.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Pulmonary Circulation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute


Women with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) experience multiple symptoms, including dyspnea, fatigue, and sleep disturbance, that impair their health‐related quality of life (HRQOL). However, we know little about phenotypic subgroups of patients with PAH with similar, concurrent, multiple symptoms. The objectives of this study were to define the “symptome” by symptom cluster phenotypes and compare characteristics such as biomarkers, cardiac structure and function (echocardiography), functional capacity (6‐min walk distance), and HRQOL between the groups. This cross‐sectional study included 60 women with PAH. Subjects completed an assessment battery: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Symptom Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Multidimensional Dyspnea Profile, Patient‐Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) Physical Function, PROMIS® Sleep‐Related Impairment, and the emPHasis‐10. Subjects also underwent transthoracic echocardiography, phlebotomy, 6‐min walk distance, and actigraphy. The three symptoms of dyspnea, fatigue, and sleep disturbance were used to define the symptom clusters. Other PAH symptoms, plasma and serum biomarkers, cardiac structure and function (echocardiography), exercise capacity (6‐min walk distance), sleep (actigraphy), and HRQOL were compared across phenotypes. The mean age was 50 ± 18 years, 51% were non‐ Hispanic white, 32% were non‐Hispanic Black and 40% had idiopathic PAH. Cluster analysis identified Mild (n = 28, 47%), Moderate (n = 20, 33%), and Severe Symptom Cluster Phenotypes (n = 12, 20%). There were no differences for age, race, or PAH etiology between the phenotypes. WHO functional class (p < 0.001), norepinephrine levels (p = 0.029), right atrial pressure (p = 0.001), physical function (p < 0.001), sleep onset latency (p = 0.040), and HRQOL (p < 0.001) all differed significantly across phenotypes. We identified three distinctive symptom cluster phenotypes (Mild, Moderate, and Severe) for women with PAH that also differed by PAH‐related symptoms, physical function, right atrial pressure, norepinephrine levels, and HRQOL. These phenotypes could suggest targeted interventions to improve symptoms and HRQOL in those most severely affected.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



Included in

Pulmonology Commons