Tadalafil therapy for sarcoidosis-associated pulmonary hypertension

Pulm Circ. 2016 Dec;6(4):557-562. doi: 10.1086/688775.


Sarcoidosis-associated pulmonary hypertension (SAPH) is estimated to occur in at least 5% or more of sarcoidosis patients, and it contributes to significant morbidity and mortality. Optimal therapy for SAPH is not well established. We performed a 24-week open-label trial of tadalafil for SAPH at 2 academic medical centers. Subjects were required to have confirmed sarcoidosis plus a right heart catheterization within 12 months of enrollment showing a mean pulmonary artery pressure ≥ 25 mmHg, a pulmonary artery wedge pressure ≤ 15 mmHg, and a calculated pulmonary vascular resistance ≥ 3 Wood units. Subjects received 20 mg/day of tadalafil for the first 4 weeks and then 40 mg/day for the subsequent 20 weeks. Sixteen patients were screened, 12 of whom met criteria for enrollment. At 24 weeks, there was no overall improvement in 6-minute walk distance (6MWD). Five of the 12 subjects dropped out of the study early (2 for social reasons, 3 for medical reasons). There was no significant change in short form 36, St. George's respiratory questionnaire, or maximum Borg dyspnea scores over the 24 weeks. There were no significant adverse events or laboratory abnormalities clearly related to tadalafil in the cohort. The study did not meet the primary end point of change in 6MWD because of the small sample size. Tadalafil was generally safely administered in this cohort of SAPH patients. There was a relatively high dropout rate but no major adverse events and no clinical worsening. Larger studies are needed to explore this question further. (Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01324999).

Keywords: pulmonary hypertension; sarcoidosis; tadalafil.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01324999