Background: In this multi-centre, randomised, placebo-controlled pilot trial, we investigated the clinical and haemodynamic effects of the endothelin-receptor blocker Bosentan in patients with heart failure, preserved ejection fraction and pulmonary hypertension (PH-HFpEF).
Materials and methods: Eligible patients received either 12 weeks of Bosentan therapy, or a placebo drug. Patients were thereafter followed for a further period of 12 weeks without the study medication. At three points during the study (study Commencement, Week 12 and Week 24), a six-minute walk test (6MWT), echocardiographic and laboratory assessments were performed, as well as a quality of life survey. Right heart catheterisation (RHC) was undertaken at commencement only. The study was aborted early, after an interim analysis favoured the placebo.
Results: Six-minute walk distance (6MWD) did not change in the Bosentan group (309.7±96.3m (Commencement), 317.0±126.1m (Week 12), 307.0±84.4m (Week 24); p=0.86), but almost reached statistical significance in the placebo group from 328.8±79.6m, to 361.6±98.2m and 384.0±74.9m (Week 24); p=0.075. In the placebo group, estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure (measured via echocardiography) significantly decreased (from 62.3±16.7mmHg [Commencement], 45.3±13.9mmHg [Week 12], to 44.6±14.5mmHg [Week 24]; p=0.014) as did right atrial pressure (13.1±5.3 [Commencement], 10.0±3.8 [Week 12], to 9.4±3.2 [Week 24]; p=0.046).
Conclusion: Despite this study's limited sample size and premature cessation, it nevertheless suggests that endothelin receptor blockade in patients with PH-HFpEF may have no beneficial effects and could even be detrimental in comparison to a placebo.
Keywords: 6minute walk test; Endothelin receptor blockade; Heart failure preserved ejection fraction; Pulmonary hypertension.
Copyright © 2016 Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.