A new treatment could be developed for pulmonary hypertension that would forgo the need for a transplant.
This is according to doctors conducting research on the condition at Georgia Health Sciences University.
Their research found the disease can be prevented by blocking a protein that initiates a series of biochemical reactions which result in increased collagen production in the blood vessels of the lungs.
Dr Yunchao Su, a pharmacologist at Georgia Health Sciences University, said the results of tests which blocked the protein indicated the pulmonary process was normal.
He now hopes his research can be used to develop a treatment that will add an alternative to heart and lung transplants – the only known cure for the condition.
Current treatments focus on reducing the symptoms and improving a patient's quality of life, states the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
Remedies include conventional therapies such as oxygen and warfarin as well as targeted therapies like prostaglandins and calcium channel blockers.