Effect of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors on surgical outcome of ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension patients

Egypt Heart J. 2024 May 21;76(1):60. doi: 10.1186/s43044-024-00475-5.


Background: Children with ventricular septal defect (VSD) and large systemic-to-pulmonary shunts eventually develop pulmonary hypertension (PH). The perioperative management of patients with VSD and PH is quite troublesome and still debatable, especially in developing countries where the different management options and standardization of treatment is not available. Oral phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors are good treatment options being widely available, cheap, easy administration and do not require extensive monitoring. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of the PDE-5 inhibitors when given orally, early preoperative and continued for 3 months postoperative on controlling postoperative PH with its effect on right ventricle (RV) functions. Fifty-one patients were randomly assigned to either sildenafil or tadalafil, 1 week before and continued for 3 months after corrective surgery. The control group received a placebo.

Results: There was no significant difference in the improvement in the right ventricle systolic pressure (RVSP) between both groups, early in the postoperative period (P = 0.255) and in follow-up (P = 0.259). There was also no significant difference in the changes in mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP), postoperatively and on follow-up (P = 0.788 and 0.059, respectively). There was a drop in RV functions in both groups postoperatively which improved on follow-up; however, it was not significant between both groups. The length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay was similar between both groups (P = 0.143).

Conclusion: Perioperative administration of PDE-5 inhibitors does not have an impact on the clinical course as regards improvement in pulmonary artery (PA) pressure, ventricular functions and ICU stay.

Keywords: Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors; Postoperative pulmonary hypertension; Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Pulmonary hypertensive crisis; Right ventricle functions; Ventricular septal defect.