Prostacyclin and oral vasodilator therapy in sarcoidosis-associated pulmonary hypertension: a retrospective case series

Chest. 2015 Oct;148(4):1055-1062. doi: 10.1378/chest.14-2546.


Background: It is unclear whether recent advances in pulmonary arterial hypertension therapy can be safely applied to sarcoidosis-associated pulmonary hypertension (SAPH). Evidence for prostacyclin (PG) therapy in SAPH is limited.

Methods: We conducted a single-center, retrospective review of 46 patients with sarcoidosis, 26 of whom had SAPH. Thirteen received PG as monotherapy or in combination with oral vasodilators.

Results: Follow-up right-sided heart catheterization at a mean of 12.7 months revealed improved cardiac output, cardiac index, and pulmonary vascular resistance. Functional class and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels also improved in patients treated with PG. No significant change in oxygen requirement was seen with vasodilator therapy initiation. At 2 years, 15 patients with SAPH survived, including eight on PG, and at 5 years, seven survived, including five on PG. Survival was significantly reduced in patients with SAPH compared with patients who had sarcoidosis without pulmonary hypertension. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the use of PG therapy in SAPH is not associated with increased mortality.

Conclusions: Many patients with severe SAPH showed significant hemodynamic and clinical improvement on long-term IV or subcutaneous PG therapy and had survival outcomes similar to patients with moderate SAPH on oral vasodilator therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Epoprostenol / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Wedge Pressure / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Resistance*
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage*


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Epoprostenol