Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) Inhibition and Pulmonary Hypertension in Diastolic Heart Failure

2014-07-23 21:08:33 | BioPortfolio


Prevalence of heart failure (HF) with left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction and preserved ejection fraction (EF) (HFpEF) is increasing. Prognosis worsens with development of pulmonary vasoconstriction and hypertension (PH) and right ventricular (RV) failure. The investigators aimed at modulating pulmonary vascular tone and RV burden in HFpEF due to high blood pressure (HBP), by using the phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitor sildenafil.


Heart failure (HF) with preserved left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) (HFpEF) is a public health problem and a major topic in clinical cardiology. Its prevalence, in fact, is increasing and the outcome seems to be similar to that of HF with LV systolic dysfunction (LVSD). Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in HFpEF is highly prevalent and often severe and, like in LVSD (3), is a predictor of morbidity and mortality (4). Because of the thin wall and the distensibility, the right ventricle (RV) is much more vulnerable by an excessive afterload than by preload. The pulmonary circulation is a central determinant of RV afterload, and an increase in impendance to RV ejection, like occurring in LV dysfunction, can easily result in RV failure, tricuspid regurgitation, central venous pressure (CVP) rise. Development of RV failure is unanimously viewed as a predictor of poor prognosis but the underlying mechanisms have not been extensively investigated.

Because of the prevalence and clinical significance of PH secondary to HF, attenuation of the pulmonary vascular tone and of the RV hemodynamic burden has been suggested as a goal to be achieved with HF therapy. Attempts with endothelin receptor antagonists, or prostacyclin analogues, were basically unsuccessful. Experimental models and human studies, showing that in HF nitric oxide (NO) - dependent pulmonary vasodilatation is impaired and pulmonary vascular resistance elevation is at least in part due to pulmonary endothelial dysfunction, have suggested therapeutic strategies with agents that increase NO activity, like nitrates or phosphodiesterase - 5 (PDE5) inhibitors (12-14). The latter agents offer the double advantage of selectively dilating the pulmonary vessels and not producing tachyphylaxis.

In this 1-year duration study, the primary end-point was to probe whether pulmonary hemodynamics and RV performance in HFpEF with PH may be targets of PDE5 inhibition with sildenafil.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Pulmonary Hypertension






University of Milan

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:08:33-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions


Hypertrophy and dilation of the RIGHT VENTRICLE of the heart that is caused by PULMONARY HYPERTENSION. This condition is often associated with pulmonary parenchymal or vascular diseases, such as CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE and PULMONARY EMBOLISM.

Familial or idiopathic hypertension in the PULMONARY CIRCULATION which is not secondary to other disease.

A prostaglandin that is a powerful vasodilator and inhibits platelet aggregation. It is biosynthesized enzymatically from PROSTAGLANDIN ENDOPEROXIDES in human vascular tissue. The sodium salt has been also used to treat primary pulmonary hypertension (HYPERTENSION, PULMONARY).

A multisystemic disorder characterized by a sensorimotor polyneuropathy (POLYNEUROPATHIES), organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, and pigmentary skin changes. Other clinical features which may be present include EDEMA; CACHEXIA; microangiopathic glomerulopathy; pulmonary hypertension (HYPERTENSION, PULMONARY); cutaneous necrosis; THROMBOCYTOSIS; and POLYCYTHEMIA. This disorder is frequently associated with osteosclerotic myeloma. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1335; Rev Med Interne 1997;18(7):553-62)

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