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Ann Thorac Surg. 1999 Nov;68(5):1714-21; discussion 1721-2.

Bosentan prevents hypoxia-reoxygenation-induced pulmonary hypertension and improves pulmonary function.

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Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.



Acute hypoxia results in increased pulmonary vascular resistance. Despite reoxygenation, pulmonary vascular resistance remains elevated and pulmonary function is altered. Endothelin-1 might contribute to hypoxia-reoxygenation-induced pulmonary hypertension and to reoxygenation injury by stimulating leukocytes. This study was carried out using an established model of hypoxia and reoxygenation to determine whether endothelin-1 blockade with Bosentan could prevent hypoxia-reoxygenation-induced pulmonary hypertension and reoxygenation injury.


Twenty neonatal piglets underwent 90 minutes of hypoxia, 60 minutes of reoxygenation on cardiopulmonary bypass, and 2 hours of recovery. Control animals (n = 12) received no drug treatment, whereas the treatment group (n = 8) received the endothelin-1 receptor antagonist, Bosentan, throughout hypoxia.


In controls, pulmonary vascular resistance increased during hypoxia to 491% of baseline and remained elevated after reoxygenation; however in the Bosentan group, it increased to only 160% of baseline by end-hypoxia, then decreased to 76% at end-recovery. Arterial endothelin-1 levels in controls increased to 591% of baseline after reoxygenation. Arterial nitrite levels decreased during hypoxia in controls but were maintained in the Bosentan group. Consequently, animals in the Bosentan group had better postreoxygenation pulmonary vascular resistance, A-a gradient, and airway resistance along with lower myeloperoxidase levels than controls.


Acute hypoxia and postreoxygenation pulmonary hypertension was attenuated by Bosentan, which maintained nitric oxide levels during hypoxia, decreased leukocyte-mediated injury, and improved pulmonary function.

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