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Am J Cardiol. 2007 Mar 1;99(5):696-8. Epub 2007 Jan 10.

Transition of stable pediatric patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension from intravenous epoprostenol to intravenous treprostinil.

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  • 1The Children's Hospital, Denver, Colorado, USA.


Intravenous epoprostenol was the first agent approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the management of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, epoprostenol therapy carries the risks of a short half-life (<6 minutes) and side effects, including jaw pain, flushing, and headache. Recently, intravenous treprostinil has been studied, primarily in adults with PAH, and found to provide effective therapy. The effects of continuous intravenous treprostinil were retrospectively evaluated in 13 children with stable PAH who had been treated with epoprostenol for >1 year. Children were transitioned in the hospital over 24 hours using a rapid or slow strategy. The children were a mean age of 11 years (range 3 to 17) and were transitioned to treprostinil from August 2004 to August 2005. The baseline 6-minute walking distance was on average 516 +/- 115 m (n = 9) and did not change after transition. Patients were treated with treprostinil for 1.1 +/- 0.5 years. There were 2 deaths, and 2 patients transitioned to other therapy. Seven patients experienced > or =1 central-line infection. Despite a higher dose of treprostinil, the side effects were subjectively diminished. In conclusion, treprostinil provides an alternative therapy in children with PAH, with fewer side effects. However, evaluation regarding rates of infection requires further exploration.

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