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Int J Cardiol. 2011 Jun 16;149(3):372-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2010.02.020. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Quality of life and functional capacity can be improved in patients with Eisenmenger syndrome with oral sildenafil therapy.

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Adult Congenital Heart Centre and Centre for Pulmonary Hypertension, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.



Patients with Eisenmenger syndrome (ES) have a decreased exercise capacity and poor quality of life (QoL). While patients may survive to middle adulthood, the burden of disease is disabling. Sildenafil seems to improve exercise tolerance and hemodynamics, but there is no data to date on its impact on QoL.


Eisenmenger patients in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III were recruited in a prospective study of efficacy and safety of oral sildenafil. The QoL endpoint was assessed using a disease-specific questionnaire (CAMPHOR). Exercise capacity was assessed by means of six minute walk test (6MWT). All patients underwent comprehensive assessment at baseline and after 3months of treatment.


Twelve patients (mean age was 34.3±10.2, 83% female) with various cardiac anatomies were recruited. No major adverse events during the follow-up or significant drop in resting oxygen saturation were recorded. After 3months of oral sildenafil therapy, all patients improved to NYHA II with a concomitant improvement in 6MWT distance (347.3±80.7 to 392.5±82.0m, p=0.002). All components of the CAMPHOR score, relating to symptoms, activity and QoL, improved significantly resulting in substantial improvement in the total CAMPHOR score (27.6±10.5 to 15.8±10.4, p=0.002).


Three months of sildenafil therapy in adults with ES was well tolerated and associated with significant improvement in the QoL CAMPHOR questionnaire and in NYHA class and exercise capacity. Larger studies are warranted to assess long term efficacy of oral sildenafil and potential impact on survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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