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Pulm Circ. 2013 Apr;3(2):406-13. doi: 10.4103/2045-8932.113180.

Comparison of drugs for pulmonary hypertension reversibility testing: A meta-analysis.

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1
Department of Cardiology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA.

Abstract

Multiple drugs are used for reversibility testing of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in advanced heart failure (HF), especially in the process of heart transplant evaluation. Effects of these drugs were never systematically compared. The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare hemodynamic effects of different drugs. We identified 20 prospective studies reporting hemodynamic variables before and after acute pharmacologic testing for PH reversibility in patients with advanced HF. The data from individual studies were grouped by an outcome measure and analyzed. A mixed model meta-analysis was performed using SAS to give weighted mean effect of pre- and post-test change and inverse variance. The mean effects were weighted by the published sample size. Prostacyclin, inhaled or intravenous, and prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) had the most potent effect on pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). Sodium nitroprusside and nitroglycerin decreased pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), and mean pulmonary arterial pressure (MPAP) better than other drugs. Sildenafil provided overall good hemodynamic outcomes but was not the strongest drug with regard to any particular outcome. PCWP, MPAP, and systolic pulmonary arterial pressure respond better to nitroglycerin and sodium nitroprusside than to other drugs in the setting of reversibility testing. Prostacyclin and PGE1 are superior to other drugs in their acute effects on PVR.

KEYWORDS:

heart failure; heart transplantation; pulmonary hypertension

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