Given the difficulty of diagnosing early-stage pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) due to the lack of signs and symptoms, and the risk of an open lung biopsy, the precise pathological features of presymptomatic stage lung tissue remain unknown. It has been suggested that the maximum elevation of the mean pulmonary arterial pressure (P
) is achieved during the early symptomatic stage, indicating that the elevation of the mean P
is primarily driven by the pulmonary vascular tone and/or some degree of pulmonary vascular remodeling completed during this stage. Recently, the examination of a rat model of severe PAH suggested that the severe PAH may be primarily determined by the presence of intimal lesions and/or the vascular tone in the early stage. Human data seem to indicate that intimal lesions are essential for the severely increased pulmonary arterial blood pressure in the late stage of the disease.