Background: The objectives of this study were to assess the frequency and severity of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and the effect of sildenafil treatment in patients with recalcitrant pulmonary sarcoidosis.
Methods: This investigation was a single-center, retrospective study of all patients (n = 25) with end-stage pulmonary sarcoidosis referred for lung transplantation. Hemodynamic measurements were evaluated by right-side cardiac catheterization in 24 of 25 patients. Sildenafil treatment for patients with sarcoidosis-associated PH was introduced in April 2004.
Results: The study group of 24 patients (16 men, 8 women) had a median age of 45 (range 35 to 58) years, and duration of sarcoidosis of 11 (range 2 to 38) years. Mean pulmonary arterial pressure (MPAP) was median 36 (range 18 to 73) mm Hg. PH (MPAP >25 mm Hg) was present in 19 of 24 patients (79%). Sildenafil was administered to 12 of 13 patients at a dose of 150 (range 75 to 225) mg/day for 4 (range 1 to 12) months. Sildenafil treatment was associated with reductions in MPAP of -8 mm Hg (CI -1 to -15 mm Hg), and PVR -4.9 Wood units (CI -7.2 to -2.6 Wood units). Cardiac output and cardiac index also increased during treatment (p = 0.01, respectively). There were no consistent changes in 6-minute walk distance.
Conclusions: Patients with severe pulmonary sarcoidosis have a high prevalence of PH. Sildenafil treatment was associated with significant improvements in hemodynamic parameters.