Comparison of drugs for pulmonary hypertension reversibility testing: A meta-analysis

Department of Cardiology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA.
Pulmonary circulation 04/2013; 3(2):406-13. DOI: 10.4103/2045-8932.113180
Source: PubMed


Multiple drugs are used for reversibility testing of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in advanced heart failure (HF), especially in the process of heart transplant evaluation. Effects of these drugs were never systematically compared. The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare hemodynamic effects of different drugs. We identified 20 prospective studies reporting hemodynamic variables before and after acute pharmacologic testing for PH reversibility in patients with advanced HF. The data from individual studies were grouped by an outcome measure and analyzed. A mixed model meta-analysis was performed using SAS to give weighted mean effect of pre- and post-test change and inverse variance. The mean effects were weighted by the published sample size. Prostacyclin, inhaled or intravenous, and prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) had the most potent effect on pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). Sodium nitroprusside and nitroglycerin decreased pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), and mean pulmonary arterial pressure (MPAP) better than other drugs. Sildenafil provided overall good hemodynamic outcomes but was not the strongest drug with regard to any particular outcome. PCWP, MPAP, and systolic pulmonary arterial pressure respond better to nitroglycerin and sodium nitroprusside than to other drugs in the setting of reversibility testing. Prostacyclin and PGE1 are superior to other drugs in their acute effects on PVR.

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Introduction: Pulmonary hypertension in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy is associated with higher mortality. Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the predictive value of the vasodilator response to three different drugs, sodium nitroprusside, inhaled nitric oxide, and oral sildenafil, in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy complicated with pulmonary hypertension. Patients and methods: Twenty-nine patients with dilated cardiomyopathy complicated with postcapillary pulmonary hypertension (left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) 20.6 ± 8.2%, mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) 42.49 ± 7.27 mmHg, transpulmonary gradient (TPG)>12 mmHg or pulmonary vascular resistance index (PVRI)>5 WU/m2) underwent single-session vaso reactivity testing with sodium nitroprusside, inhaled nitric oxide (120 ppm), oral sildenafil (50 mg), and a combination of sildenafil and inhaled nitric oxide. The vasodilator responders were defined as those participants who achieved a reduction of PVRI<5 WU/m2 and TPG<12 mmHg. The primary study endpoint was death in the 30-month-long follow-up. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazard modelling were used to identify the predictors of survival. Results: In the follow-up, eight patients died (six patients with irreversible pulmonary hypertension). Six patients underwent successful heart transplantation. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis disclosed a response to nitric oxide as the only predictor of longer survival (HR=11.77, 95% CI=1.12-123.9 at P=0.04). Conclusions: Vasodilator response to inhaled nitric oxide predicts longer survival in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy complicated with pulmonary hypertension.

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