The majority of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is not associated with BMPR2 mutation, and major risk factors for idiopathic PAH are not known. The objective of this study was to identify a gene expression signature for IPAH. To accomplish this, we used Affymetrix arrays to probe expression levels in 86 patient samples, including 22 healthy controls, 20 IPAH patients, 20 heritable PAH patients (HPAH), and 24 BMPR2 mutation carriers that were as yet unaffected (UMC). Culturing the patient cells removes the signatures of drug effects and inflammation which have made interpretation of results from freshly isolated lymphocytes problematic. We found that gene expression signatures from IPAH patients clustered either with HPAH patients or in a single distinct group. There were no groups of genes changed in IPAH that were not also changed in HPAH. HPAH, IPAH, and UMC had common changes in metabolism, actin dynamics, adhesion, cytokines, metabolism, channels, differentiation, and transcription factors. Common to IPAH and HPAH but not UMC were an upregulation of vesicle trafficking, oxidative/nitrosative stress, and cell cycle genes. The transcription factor MSX1, which is known to regulate BMP signaling, was the most upregulated gene (4×) in IPAH patients. These results suggest that IPAH cases have a shared molecular origin, which is closely related to, but distinct from, HPAH. HPAH and IPAH share the majority of altered signaling pathways, suggesting that treatments developed to target the molecular etiology of HPAH will also be effective against IPAH.