Sildenafil citrate, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and disordered pulmonary gas exchange: any benefits?

J Perinatol. 2012 Jan;32(1):64-9. doi: 10.1038/jp.2011.131. Epub 2011 Sep 22.


Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the effects that sildenafil citrate has on gas exchange in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)-associated pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Study design: A retrospective review was performed from 2005 to 2009. Infants treated with sildenafil citrate for greater than 48 h were included. Standard patient data was collected, including echocardiogram, inspired oxygen and systemic blood pressure, before and during administration of sildenafil citrate.

Result: Sildenafil citrate was used in 21 preterm infants with BPD-associated PH. A significant reduction in estimated right ventricular peak systolic pressure was seen after initiation of sildenafil citrate, with the majority of infants showing no improvement in gas exchange at 48 h of treatment. Four infants died during treatment.

Conclusion: Sildenafil citrate reduced estimated pulmonary artery pressures, but this reduction was not reflected in improved gas exchange within the first 48 h.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / complications
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / drug therapy*
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / complications
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / drug effects*
  • Purines / pharmacology
  • Purines / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Sulfones / pharmacology
  • Sulfones / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors
  • Piperazines
  • Purines
  • Sulfones
  • Sildenafil Citrate