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      Treatment of pulmonary hypertension in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: shortfall in efficacy or trial design?

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      Drug Design, Development and Therapy

      Dove Medical Press

      phenotype, interstitial lung disease

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          Abstract

          Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease that carries a high mortality. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) frequently complicates the course of patients with IPF and is associated with significantly worse outcomes. Whether PH is a surrogate or driver of these worse outcomes remains unanswered, but the presence of PH represents an attractive target for therapy. This review delves into the various pulmonary vasoactive agents that have been subjected to study in IPF, the pitfalls of some of these prior studies, and attempts to lay a foundation for future study designs targeting PH in IPF.

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          Most cited references 52

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          A controlled trial of sildenafil in advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

          Sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor, may preferentially improve blood flow to well-ventilated regions of the lung in patients with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which could result in improvements in gas exchange. We tested the hypothesis that treatment with sildenafil would improve walk distance, dyspnea, and quality of life in patients with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, defined as a carbon monoxide diffusion capacity of less than 35% of the predicted value. We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of sildenafil in two periods. The first period consisted of 12 weeks of a double-blind comparison between sildenafil and a placebo control. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with an increase in the 6-minute walk distance of 20% or more. Key secondary outcomes included changes in oxygenation, degree of dyspnea, and quality of life. The second period was a 12-week open-label evaluation involving all patients receiving sildenafil. A total of 180 patients were enrolled in the study. The difference in the primary outcome was not significant, with 9 of 89 patients (10%) in the sildenafil group and 6 of 91 (7%) in the placebo group having an improvement of 20% or more in the 6-minute walk distance (P=0.39). There were small but significant differences in arterial oxygenation, carbon monoxide diffusion capacity, degree of dyspnea, and quality of life favoring the sildenafil group. Serious adverse events were similar in the two study groups. This study did not show a benefit for sildenafil for the primary outcome. The presence of some positive secondary outcomes creates clinical equipoise for further research. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00517933.)
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            Pulmonary hypertension in chronic lung diseases.

            Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) and diffuse parenchymal lung diseases (DPLD), including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and sarcoidosis, are associated with a high incidence of pulmonary hypertension (PH), which is linked with exercise limitation and a worse prognosis. Patients with combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE) are particularly prone to the development of PH. Echocardiography and right heart catheterization are the principal modalities for the diagnosis of COPD and DPLD. For discrimination between group 1 PH patients with concomitant respiratory abnormalities and group 3 PH patients (PH caused by lung disease), patients should be transferred to a center with expertise in both PH and lung diseases for comprehensive evaluation. The task force encompassing the authors of this article provided criteria for this discrimination and suggested using the following definitions for group 3 patients, as exemplified for COPD, IPF, and CPFE: COPD/IPF/CPFE without PH (mean pulmonary artery pressure [mPAP] <25 mm Hg); COPD/IPF/CPFE with PH (mPAP ≥25 mm Hg); PH-COPD, PH-IPF, and PH-CPFE); COPD/IPF/CPFE with severe PH (mPAP ≥35 mm Hg or mPAP ≥25 mm Hg with low cardiac index [CI <2.0 l/min/m(2)]; severe PH-COPD, severe PH-IPF, and severe PH-CPFE). The "severe PH group" includes only a minority of chronic lung disease patients who are suspected of having strong general vascular abnormalities (remodeling) accompanying the parenchymal disease and with evidence of an exhausted circulatory reserve rather than an exhausted ventilatory reserve underlying the limitation of exercise capacity. Exertional dyspnea disproportionate to pulmonary function tests, low carbon monoxide diffusion capacity, and rapid decline of arterial oxygenation upon exercise are typical clinical features of this subgroup with poor prognosis. Studies evaluating the effect of pulmonary arterial hypertension drugs currently not approved for group 3 PH patients should focus on this severe PH group, and for the time being, these patients should be transferred to expert centers for individualized patient care.
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              A placebo-controlled randomized trial of warfarin in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

              Animal and human studies support the importance of the coagulation cascade in pulmonary fibrosis. In a cohort of subjects with progressive idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), we tested the hypothesis that treatment with warfarin at recognized therapeutic doses would reduce rates of mortality, hospitalization, and declines in FVC. This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of warfarin targeting an international normalized ratio of 2.0 to 3.0 in patients with IPF. Subjects were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to warfarin or matching placebo for a planned treatment period of 48 weeks. International normalized ratios were monitored using encrypted home point-of-care devices that allowed blinding of study therapy. The primary outcome measure was the composite outcome of time to death, hospitalization (nonbleeding, nonelective), or a 10% or greater absolute decline in FVC. Due to a low probability of benefit and an increase in mortality observed in the subjects randomized to warfarin (14 warfarin versus 3 placebo deaths; P = 0.005) an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board recommended stopping the study after 145 of the planned 256 subjects were enrolled (72 warfarin, 73 placebo). The mean follow-up was 28 weeks. This study did not show a benefit for warfarin in the treatment of patients with progressive IPF. Treatment with warfarin was associated with an increased risk of mortality in an IPF population who lacked other indications for anticoagulation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2014
                02 July 2014
                : 8
                : 875-885
                Affiliations
                Advanced Lung Disease Clinic, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Steven D Nathan, Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program, Inova Fairfax Hospital, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA 22042, USA, Tel +1 703 776 3610, Fax +1 703 776 3515, Email steven.nathan@ 123456inova.org
                Article
                dddt-8-875
                10.2147/DDDT.S64907
                4085308
                25061279
                © 2014 Nathan and King. 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
                Expert Opinion

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                phenotype, interstitial lung disease

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