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      Prostanoid therapies in the management of pulmonary arterial hypertension

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          Abstract

          Prostacyclin is an endogenous eicosanoid produced by endothelial cells; through actions on vascular smooth-muscle cells, it promotes vasodilation. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by elevated mean pulmonary artery pressure due to a high pulmonary vascular resistance state. A relative decrease in prostacyclin presence has been associated with PAH; this pathway has thus become a therapeutic target. Epoprostenol, the synthetic equivalent of prostacyclin, was first utilized as short-term or bridging therapy in the 1980s. Further refinement of its long-term use via continuous intravenous infusion followed. A randomized controlled trial by Barst et al in 1996 demonstrated functional, hemodynamic, and mortality benefits of epoprostenol use. This work was a groundbreaking achievement in the management of PAH and initiated a wave of research that markedly altered the dismal prognosis previously associated with PAH. Analogs of prostacyclin, including iloprost and treprostinil, exhibit increased stability and allow for an extended array of parenteral and non-parenteral (inhaled and oral) therapeutic options. This review further examines the pharmacology and clinical use of epoprostenol and its analogs in PAH.

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          Most cited references 84

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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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              An evaluation of long-term survival from time of diagnosis in pulmonary arterial hypertension from the REVEAL Registry.

              The Registry to Evaluate Early and Long-term Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Disease Management (REVEAL Registry) was established to characterize the clinical course, treatment, and predictors of outcomes in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in the United States. To date, estimated survival based on time of patient enrollment has been established and reported. To determine whether the survival of patients with PAH has improved over recent decades, we assessed survival from time of diagnosis for the REVEAL Registry cohort and compared these results to the estimated survival using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) prognostic equation. Newly or previously diagnosed patients (aged ≥ 3 months at diagnosis) with PAH enrolled from March 2006 to December 2009 at 55 US centers were included in the current analysis. A total of 2,635 patients qualified for this analysis. One-, 3-, 5-, and 7-year survival rates from time of diagnostic right-sided heart catheterization were 85%, 68%, 57%, and 49%, respectively. For patients with idiopathic/familial PAH, survival rates were 91% ± 2%, 74% ± 2%, 65% ± 3%, and 59% ± 3% compared with estimated survival rates of 68%, 47%, 36%, and 32%, respectively, using the NIH equation. Comprehensive analysis of survival from time of diagnosis in a large cohort of patients with PAH suggests considerable improvements in survival in the past 2 decades since the establishment of the NIH registry, the effects of which most likely reflect a combination of changes in treatments, improved patient support strategies, and possibly a PAH population at variance with other cohorts
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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
                31 March 2015
                : 11
                : 535-547
                Affiliations
                Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Barbara L LeVarge, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA, Tel +1 617 667 5864, Fax +1 617 667 4849, Email blevarge@ 123456bidmc.harvard.edu
                Article
                tcrm-11-535
                10.2147/TCRM.S75122
                4386780
                © 2015 LeVarge. 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

                iloprost, treprostinil, epoprostenol, prostacyclin analogs, pulmonary arterial hypertension

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