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Pneumologie. 2001 Jan;55(1):38-43.

[Long-term treatment of primary pulmonary hypertension with inhaled iloprost].

[Article in German]

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Abteilung Pneumologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover.



Continuous intravenous infusion of prostacyclin is an effective treatment for primary pulmonary hypertension. This approach, however, requires the insertion of a permanent central venous catheter with the potential risk of serious complications. Recently, administration of aerosolized iloprost, a stable prostacyclin analogue, has been introduced as an alternative therapy for severe pulmonary hypertension.


We evaluated the effects of treatment with aerosolized iloprost over a one-year period on exercise capacity and hemodynamic variables in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension.


Twenty-four patients with primary pulmonary hypertension received aerosolized iloprost at a cumulative daily dose of 100 to 150 micrograms for at least one year. The mean (+/- SD) walking distance in the 6-min-walk test increased from 278 +/- 96 meters at base line to 363 +/- 135 meters after 12 months (P < 0.0001). During the same period, the mean pulmonary artery pressure declined from 59 +/- 10 mmHg to 52 +/- 15 mmHg (P = 0.006), the cardiac output increased from 3.8 +/- 1.4 l/min to 4.4 +/- 1.3 l/min (P = 0.02), and the pulmonary vascular resistance declined from 1.205 +/- 467 to 925 +/- 469 (P = 0.0003). Treatment was generally well tolerated and except for mild coughing, minor headache and jaw pain in some patients, no side effects occurred.


Long-term treatment with aerosolized iloprost is safe and has sustained effects on exercise capacity and pulmonary hemodynamics in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension.

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