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      The limits of oral therapy in pulmonary arterial hypertension management

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          Abstract

          Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease in which remodeling of the small pulmonary arteries leads to a progressive increase in pulmonary vascular resistance and right-sided heart failure. Over the past decade, new treatments for PAH, such as the use of ERAs, PDE-5 inhibitors and prostacyclin analogs, have brought about dramatic improvements in clinical outcomes. Epoprostenol infusion therapy has been shown to improve hemodynamics, functional status, and survival, and it remains the gold standard for treatment of patients with severe PAH. Many agents, approved for PAH are always delivered in pill form. Although oral therapy occupies an important position, it has some drawbacks and limitations in PAH management. For patients in World Health Organization functional class IV and with severe right heart failure, there are few data on the long-term survival of patients treated with oral medications. Further research, exploration, and clinical experience with oral therapy in severe PAH and combination therapy will redefine its position in PAH management.

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          Most cited references 78

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          Survival in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension. Results from a national prospective registry.

          To characterize mortality in persons diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension and to investigate factors associated with survival. Registry with prospective follow-up. Thirty-two clinical centers in the United States participating in the Patient Registry for the Characterization of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Patients (194) diagnosed at clinical centers between 1 July 1981 and 31 December 1985 and followed through 8 August 1988. At diagnosis, measurements of hemodynamic variables, pulmonary function, and gas exchange variables were taken in addition to information on demographic variables, medical history, and life-style. Patients were followed for survival at 6-month intervals. The estimated median survival of these patients was 2.8 years (95% Cl, 1.9 to 3.7 years). Estimated single-year survival rates were as follows: at 1 year, 68% (Cl, 61% to 75%); at 3 years, 48% (Cl, 41% to 55%); and at 5 years, 34% (Cl, 24% to 44%). Variables associated with poor survival included a New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class of III or IV, presence of Raynaud phenomenon, elevated mean right atrial pressure, elevated mean pulmonary artery pressure, decreased cardiac index, and decreased diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO). Drug therapy at entry or discharge was not associated with survival duration. Mortality was most closely associated with right ventricular hemodynamic function and can be characterized by means of an equation using three variables: mean pulmonary artery pressure, mean right atrial pressure, and cardiac index. Such an equation, once validated prospectively, could be used as an adjunct in planning treatment strategies and allocating medical resources.
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            A comparison of continuous intravenous epoprostenol (prostacyclin) with conventional therapy for primary pulmonary hypertension.

            Primary pulmonary hypertension is a progressive disease for which no treatment has been shown in a prospective, randomized trial to improve survival. We conducted a 12-week prospective, randomized, multicenter open trial comparing the effects of the continuous intravenous infusion of epoprostenol (formerly called prostacyclin) plus conventional therapy with those of conventional therapy alone in 81 patients with severe primary pulmonary hypertension (New York Heart Association functional class III or IV). Exercise capacity was improved in the 41 patients treated with epoprostenol (median distance walked in six minutes, 362 m at 12 weeks vs. 315 m at base line), but it decreased in the 40 patients treated with conventional therapy alone (204 m at 12 weeks vs. 270 m at base line; P < 0.002 for the comparison of the treatment groups). Indexes of the quality of life were improved only in the epoprostenol group (P < 0.01). Hemodynamics improved at 12 weeks in the epoprostenol-treated patients. The changes in mean pulmonary-artery pressure for the epoprostenol and control groups were -8 percent and +3 percent, respectively (difference in mean change, -6.7 mm Hg; 95 percent confidence interval, -10.7 to -2.6 mm Hg; P < 0.002), and the mean changes in pulmonary vascular resistance for the epoprostenol and control groups were -21 percent and +9 percent, respectively (difference in mean change, -4.9 mm Hg/liter/min; 95 percent confidence interval, -7.6 to -2.3 mm Hg/liter/min; P < 0.001). Eight patients died during the study, all of whom had been randomly assigned to conventional therapy (P = 0.003). Serious complications included four episodes of catheter-related sepsis and one thrombotic event. As compared with conventional therapy, the continuous intravenous infusion of epoprostenol produced symptomatic and hemodynamic improvement, as well as improved survival in patients with severe primary pulmonary hypertension.
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              Primary pulmonary hypertension. A national prospective study.

              A national registry was begun in 1981 to collect data from 32 centers on patients diagnosed by uniform criteria as having primary pulmonary hypertension. Entered into the registry were 187 patients with a mean age (+/- SD) of 36 +/- 15 years (range, 1 to 81), and a female-to-male ratio of 1.7:1 overall. The mean interval from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was 2 years. The most frequent presenting symptoms included dyspnea (60%), fatigue (19%), and syncope (or near syncope) (13%). Raynaud phenomenon was present in 10% (95% of whom were female) and a positive antinuclear antibody test, in 29% (69% female). Pulmonary function studies showed mild restriction (forced vital capacity [FVC], 82% of predicted) with a reduced diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO), and hypoxemia with hypocapnia. The mean (+/- SD) right atrial pressure was 9.7 +/- 6 mm Hg; mean pulmonary artery pressure, 60 +/- 18 mm Hg; cardiac index, 2.3 +/- 0.9 L/min X m2; and pulmonary vascular resistance index, 26 +/- 14 mm Hg/L/min X m2 for the group. Although no deaths or sustained morbid events occurred during the diagnostic evaluation of the patients, the typically long interval from initial symptoms to diagnosis emphasizes the need to develop strategies to make the diagnosis earlier.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                2015
                23 November 2015
                : 11
                : 1731-1741
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Cardio-Pulmonary Circulation, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Echocardiography, Fu Wai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fu Wai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Zhi-Cheng Jing State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fu Wai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, PO box 71, No 167 Beilishi Road, Beijing 100037, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 10 8839 6018, Fax +86 10 8839 6016, Email jingzhicheng@ 123456vip.163.com
                Article
                tcrm-11-1731
                10.2147/TCRM.S49026
                4664513
                26648729
                © 2015 Liu and Jing. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Medicine

                pulmonary arterial hypertension, survival, oral therapy, right heart failure

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