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PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e52216. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052216. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

Temperature variations around medication cassette and carry bag in routine use of epoprostenol administration in healthy volunteers.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Keio University School of Medicine, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan. u1@ta-mu.net



According to several treatment guidelines, epoprostenol is an important treatment option for pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, the pharmacokinetic characteristics and poor stability of epoprostenol at room temperature make its administration challenging. We therefore studied temperature fluctuations between the drug administration cassette and atmosphere to promote the safe use of epoprostenol.


Five healthy volunteers carried a portable intravenous infusion pump attached to a medication cassette containing saline in a bag during their ordinary activities over 16 days during which the mean atmospheric temperature was 29.6 ± 1.5°C. The temperature around the medication cassette was not less than 25°C on any occasion, and the mean period over 24 h during which the temperature around the cassette exceeded 35°C and 40°C was 96.9 ± 156.4 min and 24.4 ± 77.3 min, respectively. Significant correlations were observed between the temperatures outside the bag and around the cassette, as well as between temperatures around the cassette and of the saline solution in the cassette (r = 0.9258 and 0.8276, respectively). There were no differences in the temperatures outside the bag or around the cassette with respect to the bag material.


Temperatures around a medication cassette and outside the bag containing the medication increase with sunlight exposure. The temperature around cassettes used for administering epoprostenol must therefore be kept low for as long as possible during hot summer conditions to maintain the drug stability.

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