[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigates the role of oral sildenafil in decreasing pulmonary pressure after congenital heart surgery. Between September 2002 and September 2004, among a group of postoperative children with large septal defects, moderate to severe pulmonary hypertension [pulmonary artery (PA) to aortic (Ao) pressure ratio of 0.76 +/- 0.17] and systemic desaturation (Ao Sat = 0.89 +/- 0.11), oral sildenafil (0.3 mg x kg(-1), every 3 hours) was administered for a period of 24-48 hours (sildenafil group). These patients were compared to a group of 22 children with similar pathologies who did not receive sildenafil (control group). Postoperative PA pressure (28.61 +/- 7.80 vs 39.40 +/- 10.80 mm Hg) and PA/Ao pressure (0.28 +/- 0.08 vs 0.41 +/- 0.11) were significantly lower in the sildenafil group ( p = 0.001 and 0.001 respectively). Pulmonary hypertensive crisis was detected in 4 patients in the control group, but none in the sildenafil group ( p = 0.02). There was no significant rise in PA pressure following discontinuation of the drug (26.30 +/- 6.66 vs 28.49 +/- 10.93 mm Hg, p = 0.366). No significant complications were noticed regarding sildenafil use. Low doses of oral sildenafil appear to be effective and safe to control postoperative PA pressure in children. Absence of rebound pulmonary hypertension, availability, and low cost of the drug are considered as its major advantages.
Asian cardiovascular & thoracic annals 05/2007; 15(2):113-7.