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Chest. 1993 Apr;103(4):1017-22.

Pilot study of cardiopulmonary risk from pentoxifylline in adult respiratory distress syndrome.

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  • 1Service de Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Bichat, Paris, France.


Neutrophils and cytokines are directly involved in the pathophysiology of adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Pentoxifylline (PTX) has been shown in vitro to protect against the inflammatory effects of neutrophils and cytokines. The same protective effects have been demonstrated on animal models of lung injury. These results suggested that PTX might be useful in patients with ARDS. The cardiopulmonary effects of large doses of PTX were evaluated in a pilot study performed in six patients with severe ARDS. PTX was administered with an initial 1-mg/kg bolus, followed by infusion of 1.5 mg/kg/h over 6 h. No significant change was observed in the gas exchange and hemodynamic parameters, except for a 10 percent increase in the heart rate during the infusion period. Our results demonstrate that large doses of PTX induced only minor hemodynamic changes without worsening in pulmonary gas exchange. Further studies are warranted to evaluate human safety and ultimately the effectiveness of PTX in the treatment of ARDS.

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