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Treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension in Children Studied

Inhaled iloprost led to functional improvement in 35 percent of children

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Use of inhaled iloprost in children with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) reduces pulmonary artery pressure equivalent to nitric oxide and leads to functional improvement in over one-third of children, according to an article published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

D. Dunbar Ivy, M.D., of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, and colleagues analyzed data from 22 children with PAH who were treated with inhaled iloprost to investigate the effect of inhaled iloprost on hemodynamic and respiratory parameters, and long-term outcomes. Evaluations included cardiac catheterization, lung function testing, six-minute walk test, World Health Organization functional class and hemodynamic monitoring.

Inhaled iloprost reduced mean pulmonary artery pressure equivalent to that of inhaled nitric oxide with oxygen, but caused acute bronchoconstriction in some children. By six months, functional class improved in 35 percent, decreased in 15 percent and remained constant in 50 percent of children. In all, 64 percent of patients continued long-term therapy with iloprost, while 36 percent stopped iloprost due to lower airway reactivity, clinical deterioration or death. Most patients on chronic intravenous prostanoids were able to be transitioned to inhaled iloprost.

"Inhaled iloprost caused sustained functional improvement in some children with PAH, although inhaled iloprost occasionally induced bronchoconstriction," the authors write.

Several study authors serve as consultants for various pharmaceutical companies.

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