Treatment algorithms in pediatric pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are derived from clinical trials in adult populations and from clinical practice, but experience in children is limited. In this retrospective cohort study, we analyzed outcomes in a previously identified cohort of 86 consecutive children with PAH treated with bosentan as part of their treatment regimen. All children with idiopathic PAH or heritable PAH and PAH associated with congenital heart disease or connective tissue disease who started bosentan treatment from May 2001 to April 2003 in 2 tertiary pediatric referral centers were followed, with data collection ending August 2006. Eighty-six children (37 male, 49 female) 11 ± 5 years of age with idiopathic/heritable PAH (n = 36), PAH associated with congenital heart disease (n = 48), or PAH associated with connective tissue disease (n = 2) received bosentan as monotherapy (n = 42) or as an add-on to pre-existing continuous intravenous epoprostenol or subcutaneous treprostinil (n = 44). Median observation period was 39 months (range 2 to 60). Thirty-four patients (40%) received ≥1 additional PAH-specific therapy during follow-up. At end of data collection, 25 patients (29%) remained on bosentan, 43 (50%) had stopped bosentan, 11 (13%) had died while on bosentan, and 7 were lost to follow-up. At 4 years, the Kaplan-Meier estimate of disease progression in patients while on bosentan was 54% (7 patients at risk) with a survival estimate of 82% (16 patients at risk). Risk factors significantly associated with survival were World Health Organization functional class and indexed pulmonary vascular resistance. In conclusion, outcome in children with PAH managed with current treatment regimens appears favorable. However, despite current therapy options, disease progression remains a concern.
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