Potent effects of aerosol compared with intravenous treprostinil on the pulmonary circulation

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Dec;99(6):2363-8. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00083.2005. Epub 2005 Sep 1.


Inhaled vasodilator therapy for pulmonary hypertension may decrease the systemic side effects commonly observed with systemic administration. Inhaled medications only reach ventilated areas of the lung, so local vasodilation may improve ventilation-perfusion matching and oxygenation. We compared the effects of intravenous vs. aerosolized treprostinil on pulmonary and systemic hemodynamics in an unanesthetized sheep model of sustained acute pulmonary hypertension. Acute, stable pulmonary hypertension was induced in instrumented unanesthetized sheep by infusing a PGH(2) analog, U-44069. The sheep were then administered identical doses of treprostinil either intravenously or by aerosol. Systemic and pulmonary hemodynamics were recorded during each administration. Both intravenous and aerosol delivery of treprostinil reduced pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary arterial pressure, but the effect was significantly greater with aerosol delivery (P < 0.05). Aerosol delivery of treprostinil had minimal effects on systemic hemodynamics, whereas intravenous delivery increased heart rate and cardiac output and decreased left atrial pressure and systemic blood pressure. Aerosol delivery of the prostacyclin analog treprostinil has a greater vasodilatory effect in the lung with minimal alterations in systemic hemodynamics compared with intravenous delivery of the drug. We speculate that this may result from treprostinil stimulated production of vasodilatory mediators from pulmonary epithelium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage
  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epoprostenol / administration & dosage
  • Epoprostenol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology*
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Circulation / drug effects*
  • Recovery of Function / drug effects*
  • Sheep
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*


  • Aerosols
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Epoprostenol
  • treprostinil