BACKGROUND: Riociguat in Patients with Symptomatic Pulmonary Hypertension associated with Idiopathic Interstitial Pneumonias (RISE-IIP), a randomized, controlled, phase 2b trial of riociguat for pulmonary hypertension associated with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, was terminated early due to increased mortality in riociguat-treated patients. Baseline characteristics of enrolled patients demonstrated a low diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) with preserved lung volumes at baseline, suggesting the presence of combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE) in some patients. This post hoc analysis of RISE-IIP was undertaken to explore lung morphology, assessed by high-resolution computed tomography, and associated clinical outcomes.METHODS: Available baseline/pre-baseline high-resolution computed tomography scans were reviewed centrally by 2 radiologists. The extent of emphysema and fibrosis was retrospectively scored and combined to provide the total CPFE score.RESULTS: Data were available for 65/147 patients (44%), including 15/27 fatal cases (56%). Of these, 41/65 patients (63%) had CPFE. Mortality was higher in patients with CPFE (12/41; 29%) than those without (3/24; 13%). Fourteen patients with CPFE had emphysema > fibrosis (4 died). No relationship was observed between CPFE score, survival status, and treatment assignment. A low DLCO, short 6 min walking distance, and high forced vital capacity:DLCO ratio at baseline also appeared to be risk factors for mortality.CONCLUSIONS: High parenchymal lung disease burden and the presence of more emphysema than fibrosis might have predisposed patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia to poor outcomes in RISE-IIP. Future studies of therapy for group 3 pulmonary hypertension should include centrally adjudicated imaging for morphologic phenotyping and disease burden evaluation during screening.