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[Specific drugs for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension - current status]

Author(s): Stahler G

Affiliation(s): Medizinische Klinik I Pneumologie, Klinik Lowenstein. gerd.staehler@klinik-loewenstein.de

Publication date & source: 2008-10, Dtsch Med Wochenschr., 133 Suppl 6:S183-6. Epub 2008 Sep 23.

Publication type: English Abstract; Review

For some years drugs of several different classes have been available in Germany for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PHT): prostanoids, endothelin-receptor antagonists and phosphodiesterase inhibitors. To-date all relevant studies have consistently shown improvement in the 6-minute walking test (Iloprost, Treprostinil, Bosentan, Sitaxentan, Ambrisentan, Sildenafil). Results have not been consistent when the end-point has been an improvement in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III or in the time to clinical worsening. Despite the good safety data for all drugs approved in Germany in the treatment of PHT, there are some clinically relevant interactions and significant contraindications. The availability of several options demands a detailed knowledge of studies to optimize safety and success in the treatment of PHT. Placebo-control mortality studies are not available for ethical reasons for those drugs that have been approved in Germany. But cohort analyses using historical survival rates have demonstrated a impressive improvement in survival of patients with PHT. Although there has been great progress in the treatment of PHT, a cure of this grave disease is not yet possible.

Page last updated: 2008-11-03

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