Background: To test the hypothesis that chronic sildenafil treatment has similar functional and hemodynamic effects in patients with severe pulmonary arterial hypertension due to Eisenmenger syndrome as those due to idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension without intracardiac shunts.
Methods: A prospective open-label study was carried out to compare the effects of sildenafil on the pulmonary hemodynamics between two groups of patients with severe pulmonary hypertension and similar baseline functional capacity--Eisenmenger syndrome (ES group) (n=7) versus idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH group) (n=6).
Results: After 6 months of sildenafil, there was a significant improvement in the functional capacity, the arterial saturation and the pulmonary hemodynamics in the ES group, as shown by significant reduction in the systolic and mean pulmonary artery pressures and the pulmonary vascular resistance.
Conclusion: Sildenafil increases pulmonary blood flow and improves cyanosis in patients with Eisenmenger syndrome. Efficacy of sildenafil as treatment for idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension may be extended to patients with Eisenmenger syndrome.