Totally Implantable IV Treprostinil Therapy in Pulmonary Hypertension Assessment of the Implantation Procedure

Chest. 2017 Dec;152(6):1128-1134. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2017.04.188. Epub 2017 Jun 3.


Background: Prostacyclins improve symptoms and survival in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In response to risks associated with external delivery systems, an implantable IV infusion system was developed. A multicenter, prospective, single-arm, clinical trial (DelIVery for PAH) was conducted to evaluate this system for treprostinil in PAH. This analysis describes the findings related to the implant procedure.

Methods: Patients (N = 64) with PAH (World Health Organization group 1) receiving stable IV treprostinil were enrolled. Patients were transitioned to a temporary peripheral IV infusion catheter prior to the procedure. System implantation was performed at 10 centers under general anesthesia or deep IV sedation by clinicians from various specialties. Central venous access was via the cephalic, subclavian, jugular, or axillary vein. Using an introducer and fluoroscopic guidance, the distal tip of the infusion catheter was placed at the superior caval-atrial junction. The catheter was tunneled from the venous access site to an abdominal subcutaneous pocket, where the pump was placed.

Results: Of the 64 patients enrolled, four exited prior to implantation. All 60 implant procedures were successful. At baseline, all patients were receiving treprostinil via an external pump at a mean dose of 71.4 ± 27.8 ng/kg/min (range: 22-142 ng/kg/min). The implant averaged 102 ± 32 min (range: 47-184 min). Clinically significant implant procedure-related complications included one pneumothorax, two infections, and one episode of atrial fibrillation. There were three postimplantation catheter dislocations in two patients. Common implant-related events that were not complications included implant site pain (83%) and bruising (17%).

Conclusions: The procedure for inserting a fully implantable system for treprostinil was successfully performed, with few complications.

Trial registry:; No.: NCT01321073; URL:

Keywords: implantable; programmable; pulmonary arterial hypertension; pump; treprostinil.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epoprostenol / administration & dosage
  • Epoprostenol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Infusion Pumps, Implantable*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Wedge Pressure / drug effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Epoprostenol
  • treprostinil

Associated data