US Pharm. 2016;41(7):HS-20.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, higher blood levels of hematoma-derived growth factor (HDGF), a protein, are linked to the increasing severity of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which affects approximately 200,000 Americans. Their findings, described online on June 2 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, could lead to a more specific, noninvasive test for PAH.

“This has the potential to be a much more specific readout for the health of the lungs than what we currently measure using invasive cardiac catheterization,” says senior study author Allen Everett, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Pediatric Proteome Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Everett and his colleagues compared blood samples from 39 patients with severe PAH who had failed treatment and were waiting for lung transplants, and a control group of 39 age-, gender-, and race-matched healthy volunteers. They found median protein levels were about seven times higher than in controls, with a median of 1.93 nanograms per milliliter in patients and a median of 0.29 nanograms per milliliter in the controls.