Objectives: This study investigated whether treatment with beraprost sodium (BPS), an orally active prostacyclin analog, improves hemodynamics and survival in patients with peripheral-vessel chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), for which there is no surgical option.
Background: Oral administration of BPS has been shown to improve the hemodynamics and prognosis in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension; however, whether BPS has beneficial effects in CTEPH remains unknown.
Methods: Forty-three patients with peripheral-vessel CTEPH were classified into two groups: patients treated with BPS (BPS group, n = 20) and those without BPS (conventional group, n = 23). Baseline demographic and hemodynamic data did not significantly differ between the two groups.
Results: BPS therapy improved New York Heart Association functional class in 10 patients (50%) and significantly decreased total pulmonary resistance from 18 +/- 6 to 15 +/- 8 Wood units (p < 0.05) [mean +/- SD]. Sixteen patients died of cardiopulmonary causes in the conventional group during a mean follow-up period of 58 +/- 45 months. In contrast, only three patients died of cardiopulmonary causes in the BPS group during a mean follow-up period of 44 +/- 30 months. The absence of BPS therapy, elevated total pulmonary resistance, heart rate, and age were independently related to the mortality by Cox proportional hazard analysis. The 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year survival rates for the BPS group were 100%, 85%, and 76%, respectively, compared to 87%, 60%, and 46% in the conventional group.
Conclusions: This preliminary study suggests that oral administration of BPS may improve hemodynamics and survival in patients with peripheral-vessel CTEPH, for which there is no surgical option.