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Comparison of the Effectiveness of Oral Sildenafil Versus Oxygen Administration as a Test for Feasibility of Operation for Patients with Secondary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

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It is shown that phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors such as sildenafil can modulate pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) via increasing the level of guanosine-3,5-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) and decreases pulmonary artery pressure (PAP). In this study we determined the effectiveness of sildenafil and compared its efficacy with inhaled nasal oxygen (O2) during cardiac catheterization in patients with congenital heart diseases (CHD) and PAH, as a test of feasibility for surgical repair of the patients. We studied 15 patients, 9 male and 6 female, with a mean age of 8.3 years. Hemodynamic measurements were made at baseline, after O2 administration for 20 min (5 L/min by mask), and then 45 min after administration of a single dose of sildenafil (0.5 mg/kg orally or via nasogastric tube). Mean PAP at baseline was 72.2 ± 12.54 mm Hg and was reduced by sildenafil to 52.5 ± 9.6 and by O2 to 61.3 ± 10.39. Both sildenafil and O2 decreased PAP effectively (p = 0.08 and p = 0.04, respectively). Pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) was calculated for 12 patients, with a baseline level of 9.08 ± 1.09 mm Hg · L−1 · min, which was significantly decreased by O2, to 3.74 ± 0.43, and by sildenafil, to 5.93 ± 0.75 (p = 0.005 and p = 0.05, respectively). Sildenafil, as a single oral dose, can effectively reduce PAP and PVR. This novel PDE5 inhibitor can be used for assessment of feasibility of operation for patients with CHD and PAH when inhaled NO is not available.

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The authors would like to thank the Office of Vice Chancellor for Research of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences for financial support of this study and also the Center for Development of Clinical Research of Nemazee Hospital for statistical and editorial assistance. We are also thankful to Mrs. Saba Korrani for typing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Gholam Hossein Ajami.

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Ajami, G.H., Borzoee, M., Radvar, M. et al. Comparison of the Effectiveness of Oral Sildenafil Versus Oxygen Administration as a Test for Feasibility of Operation for Patients with Secondary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Pediatr Cardiol 29, 552–555 (2008).

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