Background: In heart failure (HF) patients, pulmonary hypertension (PH) is associated with a poor prognosis. We assessed whether low dose treatment with the dual endothelin-1 receptor antagonist bosentan is associated with improved hemodynamics and clinical outcome in these patients.
Methods: We performed a retrospective data analysis in 82 end-stage heart failure patients on the waiting list for cardiac transplantation since January 2006. All patients had pulmonary arterial pressure >35 mmHg, pulmonary vascular resistance >240 dyn × s × cm-5, and/or a transpulmonary gradient (TPG) >15 mmHg. Fifty-four patients received a median dose of 125 mg bid bosentan (BOS group), and 28 patients received standard medical treatment (CON group). Data were assessed until June 2009.
Results: Hemodynamic parameters improved significantly in the BOS group but remained unchanged in the CON group. The percentage of patients who fell below the thresholds of PAP, PVR, and TPG for cardiac transplantation increased significantly by 20.3%, 34.5%, and 20.8%, respectively (p = 0.007-0.013) in the BOS group, but did not change significantly in the CON group. One-year survival on the waiting list was approximately 20% higher in the BOS group than in the CON group (p = 0.020). Bosentan treatment remained an independent predictor of reduced mortality risk on the waiting list after propensity score adjustment (relative risk = 0.107; 95% CI: 0.013-0.869; p = 0.036).
Conclusion: Treatment with the endothelin-1 antagonist bosentan is associated with improvements in hemodynamics and clinical outcome in end-stage heart failure patients with PH. If these results can be confirmed by randomized controlled trials, bosentan may represent a treatment option in these patients.
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