Objectives: This study sought to investigate the effect of beraprost sodium (BPS), an orally active prostacyclin analogue, on the survival of outpatients with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH).
Background: Continuous intravenous administration of epoprostenol (prostacyclin) has been shown to improve survival in PPH. However, the effect of oral BPS on survival in PPH remains unknown.
Methods: Fifty-eight consecutive patients with PPH who could be discharged after the first diagnostic catheterization for PPH were retrospectively divided into two groups: patients treated with BPS (BPS group, n = 24) and those without BPS (conventional group, n = 34). The baseline demographic and hemodynamic data did not significantly differ between the two.
Results: Twenty-seven patients died of cardiopulmonary causes in the conventional group during a mean follow-up period of 44 +/- 45 months. In contrast, only 4 patients died of cardiopulmonary causes in the BPS group during a mean follow-up period of 30 +/- 20 months. In a subsample (n = 15) of patients in the BPS group, mean pulmonary arterial pressure and total pulmonary resistance significantly decreased, respectively, by 13% and 25% during a mean follow-up period of 53 days. Among the variables previously known to be associated with the mortality in PPH, the absence of BPS therapy and the reduced cardiac output were independently related to the mortality by a multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis (both p < 0.05). The Kaplan-Meier survival curves demonstrated that the one-, two- and three-year survival rates for the BPS group were 96%, 86% and 76%, respectively, as compared with 77%, 47% and 44%, respectively, in the conventional group (log-rank test, p < 0.05).
Conclusions: The oral administration of BPS may have beneficial effects on the survival of outpatients with PPH as compared with conventional therapy alone.