Bosentan Beneficial in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Mean pulmonary vascular resistance improved over six months in mild cases of condition

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Bosentan, a dual endothelin receptor antagonist, was associated with improvements in pulmonary vascular resistance in patients with mildly symptomatic pulmonary arterial hypertension, according to research published in the June 21 issue of The Lancet.

Nazzareno Galie, M.D., of the University of Bologna in Italy, and colleagues analyzed data from 185 patients, aged 12 and older, with WHO functional class II pulmonary arterial hypertension. In the six-month study, patients were randomized to bosentan or placebo; primary endpoints were pulmonary vascular resistance at six months and change in six-minute walk distance.

At six months, the geometric mean pulmonary vascular resistance was 83.2 percent of baseline in the treatment group and 107.5 percent of baseline in the placebo group, the researchers report. The difference in mean six-minute walk distance wasn't statistically significant between groups. The number of adverse events was similar between groups; the most commonly reported in the treatment group were nasopharyngitis and abnormal liver function tests.

"In conclusion, [this] study shows that, if left untreated, mildly symptomatic pulmonary arterial hypertension can progressively deteriorate both clinically and in terms of haemodynamics, despite the maintenance of exercise capacity. Bosentan treatment in this patient population is associated with improvements in haemodynamics and prevention of clinical deterioration. These findings indicate that treatment with bosentan might be of benefit to patients with WHO functional class II pulmonary arterial hypertension," the authors write.

Actelion Pharmaceuticals provided funding for the study. Galie and co-authors disclosed financial relationships with Actelion and other pharmaceutical companies.

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