Long-term outcome of systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension treated with bosentan as first-line monotherapy followed or not by the addition of prostanoids or sildenafil
Universite Paris-Sud, Faculte de Medecine, Kremlin-Bice tre, France. Rheumatology (Oxford, England)
(Impact Factor: 4.48).
12/2009; 49(3):490-500. DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep398
Data on long-term efficacy of bosentan, an oral dual ET receptor antagonist, in SSc-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (SSc-PAH) are lacking. We aimed to describe the long-term outcome of SSc-PAH treated with first-line monotherapy bosentan followed or not by the addition of prostanoids or sildenafil.
A prospective analysis of 49 consecutive SSc-PAH patients treated with first-line bosentan was performed. New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class, 6-min walk distance (6MWD) and haemodynamics were assessed at baseline and after 4 and 12 months.
At 4 months, significant improvements in NYHA functional class and haemodynamics were observed with stabilization at 1 year. There was no significant improvement in 6MWD. Overall survival estimates were 80, 56 and 51% at 1, 2 and 3 years, respectively, and were significantly worse than those in a cohort of patients with idiopathic PAH (92, 89 and 79% at 1, 2 and 3 years, respectively; P < 0.0001). Twenty-three patients (47%) died after a mean follow-up of 23 (18) months. In multivariate analysis, baseline and 4-month NYHA functional class and 4-month cardiac index were independent factors associated with overall survival.
In our cohort of consecutive SSc-PAH patients treated with first-line bosentan, improvement in NYHA functional class and haemodynamics was significant after 4 months of treatment and stabilized afterwards. One-year overall survival rate was higher than previously reported in historical series. However, long-term prognosis remains poor. Our study underlines the importance of haemodynamic evaluation 4 months after the start of treatment to provide strong parameters associated with survival-like cardiac index.
Available from: Hikmet Al-Hiti
- "Functional class at the time of diagnosis as well as during follow-up is of pivotal prognostic importance . Patients starting therapy in WHO FC I/II have a better prognosis than those in WHO FC III/IV  and patients who achieve WHO FC I/II after treatment have a better prognosis than those who remain in WHO FC III/IV  . Despite a relatively well preserved exercise capacity and mild symptoms, patients in WHO FC II are already hemodynamically compromised . "
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The double-blind phase of the EARLY study of bosentan remains the only randomized controlled trial of a PAH-targeted therapy in World Health Organization functional class (FC) II patients. We report on the efficacy, safety, disease worsening, survival and prognostic factors in mildly symptomatic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients treated with bosentan in the open-label extension phase of the EARLY study.
Exploratory efficacy outcomes included 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) and WHO FC. Adverse events were recorded. Kaplan–Meier analysis was used to estimate time to first PAH worsening event (death, initiation of intravenous or subcutaneous prostanoids, atrial septostomy or lung transplantation) and survival. Cox regression analysis determined factors prognostic of survival.
Median exposure to bosentan (n = 173) was 51 months. At the end of the bosentan-treatment assessment period, 77.8% of patients were in WHO FC I/II. Adverse events led to discontinuation of bosentan in 20.2% of patients. Aminotransferase elevations > 3 x upper limit of normal occurred in 16.8%. Four-year PAH-event-free survival and survival were 79.5% (95% confidence intervals [95% CI] 73.4, 85.6) and 84.8% [95% CI 79.4, 90.2], respectively. Low 6MWD, low mixed venous oxygenation, high N-terminal pro hormone of brain natriuretic peptide levels and PAH associated with connective tissue disease were associated with a higher risk of death.
The majority of patients exposed to long-term bosentan maintained or improved their functional class. Approximately 20% of the patients discontinued treatment because of adverse events, which were most commonly PAH worsening and elevated liver enzymes.
Available from: Susanna M Proudman
- "The early detection of SSc-PAH has emerged as an essential component of disease management. A number of studies have demonstrated the significantly better prognosis of patients presenting in lower World Health Organization functional classes (WHO-FC) (that is I and II), compared to patients presenting with more advanced functional impairment (WHO-FC III or IV) [3,4]. Other studies have suggested that early commencement of therapy may delay the progression of SSc-PAH, and lead to improvements in functional class [5,6]. "
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ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a major cause of mortality in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Screening guidelines for PAH recommend multiple investigations, including annual echocardiography, which together have low specificity and may not be cost-effective. We sought to evaluate the predictive accuracy of serum N-Terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in combination with pulmonary function tests (PFT) ('proposed' algorithm) in a screening algorithm for SSc-PAH.
We evaluated our proposed algorithm (PFT with NTproBNP) on 49 consecutive SSc patients with suspected pulmonary hypertension undergoing right heart catherisation (RHC). The predictive accuracy of the proposed algorithm was compared with existing screening recommendations, and is presented as sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV).
Overall, 27 patients were found to have pulmonary hypertension (PH) at RHC, while 22 had no PH. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of the proposed algorithm for PAH was 94.1%, 54.5%, 61.5% and 92.3%, respectively; current European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/European Respiratory Society (ERS) guidelines achieved a sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of 94.1%, 31.8%, 51.6% and 87.5%, respectively. In an alternate case scenario analysis, estimating a PAH prevalence of 10%, the proposed algorithm achieved a sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV for PAH of 94.1%, 54.5%, 18.7% and 98.8% , respectively.
The combination of NT-proBNP with PFT is a sensitive, yet simple and non-invasive screening strategy for SSc-PAH. Patients with a positive screening result can be referred for echocardiography, and further confirmatory testing for PAH. In this way, it may be possible to shift the burden of routine screening away from echocardiography. The findings of this study should be confirmed in larger studies.
- "Interestingly, this result is similar to that observed in idiopathic PAH where older age is associated with a worse prognosis.18 19 Concerning cardiac index, there are major discrepancies in SSc as some studies found that cardiac index was a prognostic factor,3
31 whereas other studies found that it was not.6
33 Among the latter negative studies for cardiac index, two studies focused on patients with ILD-related PH where cardiac index was not associated at all with the overall prognosis.14 33 We feel that by selecting isolated SSc-PAH we clearly demonstrate that baseline cardiac index is a strong prognostic factor in this selected population with a pure pulmonary vascular disease. "
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To assess the survival and prognostic factors in patients with newly diagnosed incident systemic sclerosis (SSc)–associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in the modern management era.
Prospectively enrolled SSc patients in the French PAH Network between January 2006 and November 2009, with newly diagnosed PAH and no interstitial lung disease, were analysed (85 patients, mean age 64.9±12.2 years). Median follow-up after PAH diagnosis was 2.32 years.
A majority of patients were in NYHA functional class III–IV (79%). Overall survival was 90% (95% CI 81% to 95%), 78% (95% CI 67% to 86%) and 56% (95% CI 42% to 68%) at 1, 2 and 3 years from PAH diagnosis, respectively. Age (HR: 1.05, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.09, p=0.012) and cardiac index (HR: 0.49, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.89, p=0.019) were significant predictors in the univariate analysis. We also observed strong trends for gender, SSc subtypes, New York Heart Association functional class, pulmonary vascular resistance and capacitance to be significant predictors in the univariate analysis. Conversely, six-min walk distance, mean pulmonary arterial and right atrial pressures were not significant predictors. In the multivariate model, gender was the only independent factor associated with survival (HR: 4.76, 95% CI 1.35 to 16.66, p=0.015 for male gender).
Incident SSc-associated PAH remains a devastating disease even in the modern management era. Age, male gender and cardiac index were the main prognosis factors in this cohort of patients. Early detection of less severe patients should be a priority.
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