This review addresses pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), an incurable disease,
which determines high morbidity and mortality. Definition of the disease, its characteristics,
classification, and epidemiology are discussed. A difficulty in the diagnosis of PAH due
to the lack of symptoms specificity is highlighted. Echocardiographic analysis and electrocardiogram
of patients help in the diagnosis and in the follow up of the disease. Nevertheless,
right ventricle (RV) catheterization constitutes the gold standard for diagnosing PAH. Oxidative
stress and inflammation, in an interactive manner, play a major role in the development of
pulmonary vascular remodeling and consequent increase of pulmonary pressure. The latter
results in an increase in RV afterload, culminating with RV hypertrophy, which may progress
to failure. Both clinical and experimental studies have shown increased oxidative stress and
inflammation, not only in lungs and pulmonary vasculature but also in RV. The use of experimental
models, such as the monocrotaline-induced PAH, has helped in the understanding
of the pathophysiology of PAH, as well as in the development of new therapeutic strategies.
In addition to the traditional therapeutics, the use of therapeutic interventions capable of
modulating oxidative stress and inflammation may offer newer strategies in the prevention as
well as management of this disease.