Background: Pulmonary hypertension is a severe pulmonary vascular disease leading to rapid deterioration and death. Histological and clinical evidence suggests that smooth muscle proliferation is part of the pathogenesis of the disease. Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is a γ-herpesvirus that is implicated in malignancies and in Kaposi's sarcoma. Recently, the association of HHV-8 with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) has been found. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of HHV-8 in the lung tissue of Israeli patients with PAH. Method: The presence of HHV-8 sequences was investigated by polymerase chain reaction examination in 6 biopsies of patients with pulmonary hypertension. Three patients had idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, 2 patients pulmonary venoocclusive disease, and 1 patient pulmonary hypertension associated with mixed connective tissue disease. Result: We did not find any association between HHV-8 and PAH in these Israeli patients, as all the samples were negative for polymerase chain reaction. Conclusion: Our findings, together with the epidemiological data of HHV-8 prevalence and incidence rates of Kaposi's sarcoma and PAH in Israel, provide further evidence which argues against an association between HHV-8 infection and PAH.
- Human herpesvirus 8
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension