Pulmonary hypertension: inhaled nitric oxide, sildenafil and natriuretic peptides

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2005 Jun;5(3):245-50. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2004.12.008.


Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors and other agents that modulate intracellular cGMP are now emerging as promising, safe, and easy to administer therapies for pulmonary hypertension, with relatively few side effects. Recent studies have shown that PDE5 inhibitors are potent acute pulmonary vasodilators in experimental models that partially reverse established pulmonary arterial hypertension and blunt chronic pulmonary hypertension. In addition, studies on animals reveal that PDE5 inhibitors work in concert with nitric oxide and/or natriuretic peptide levels by enhancing intracellular cGMP and cGMP-mediated vasodilator effects. Further, the combination of PDE5 inhibitors and agents that increase cGMP or cAMP also yields additive beneficial effects on pulmonary hemodynamics in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 3',5'-Cyclic-GMP Phosphodiesterases
  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclic GMP / physiology*
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 5
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Nitric Oxide / administration & dosage
  • Nitric Oxide / therapeutic use*
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / adverse effects*
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Purines
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Sulfones


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
  • Piperazines
  • Purines
  • Sulfones
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • 3',5'-Cyclic-GMP Phosphodiesterases
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 5
  • PDE5A protein, human
  • Cyclic GMP