The introduction of prostanoid therapy has revolutionized the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, continuous intravenous prostacyclin infusion poses significant risks and challenges, particularly in children. Inhaled treprostinil has been shown to be safe and efficacious in adults. This study describes the safety and efficacy of inhaled treprostinil in children with PAH. A retrospective analysis of 29 children treated with inhaled treprostinil for ≥6 weeks was performed. Effects of inhaled treprostinil on exercise capacity, functional class, and echocardiographic and hemodynamic data were evaluated. Adverse events were documented. Patients received 3 to 9 breaths (6 μg/breath) of inhaled treprostinil 4 times/day. All were receiving background PAH therapy; 12 had previously received parenteral prostanoid. Inhaled treprostinil was discontinued in 4 patients because of symptoms including cough and bronchospasm (n = 3) and progression of PAH (n = 1). Mild side effects including cough (n = 9) and sore throat (n = 6) did not require discontinuation of therapy. World Health Organization functional class improved in 19 and was unchanged in 10; exercise capacity significantly improved with the 6-minute walk distance, improving on follow-up from 455.7 ± 71.5 to 498 ± 70 m (p = 0.01) and peak oxygen consumption increasing from 25.5 ± 10.2 to 27.4 ± 10 (p = 0.04). In conclusion, inhaled treprostinil was associated with improvement in exercise capacity and World Health Organization functional class when added to background targeted PAH therapy in children and had an acceptable safety profile. Based on these early data, further study of inhaled treprostinil appears warranted in pediatric patients with PAH.
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