Viagra for alleviation of pulmonary hypertension?

Results of a preliminary study in this week’s issue of THE LANCET suggest that Viagra may have a future role in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension (increased blood pressure in the pulmonary artery), a severe and potentially fatal condition causing respiratory impairment.

Lung fibrosis (scarring of the lungs due to inflammation of the alveoli) can be complicated by pulmonary hypertension. Hossein Ardeschir Ghofrani and colleagues from University Hospital, Giessen, Germany, did a preliminary randomised controlled trial to compare the acute effects of oral sildenafil (Viagra) or intravenous epoprostenol (conventional treatment) after the inhalation of nitric oxide in 16 individuals with pulmonary hypertension secondary to lung fibrosis.

A reduction in the ratio of pulmonary to systemic blood resistance—an indication of reduced pulmonary hypertension—was only observed in patients who received sildenafil.

Hossein Ghofrani comments: “Controlled randomised trials should be done to confirm our findings. However, the unique profile of sildenafil, not previously shown for a systemically administered agent, suggests that the drug is a promising candidate for long-term treatment of secondary pulmonary hypertension in lung fibrosis.”

In an accompanying Commentary (p 886), Raed A Dweik from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, USA, states that “the study by Ghofrani and colleagues adds to growing evidence for the use of sildenafil…in patients with primary and secondary pulmonary hypertension”, and that sildenafil “is the best available orally administered selective pulmonary vasodilator”.

Media Contact

Richard Lane alfa

All latest news from the category: Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

Enhancing the workhorse

Artificial intelligence, hardware innovations boost confocal microscope’s performance. Since artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky patented the principle of confocal microscopy in 1957, it has become the workhorse standard in life…

In the quantum realm, not even time flows as you might expect

New study shows the boundary between time moving forward and backward may blur in quantum mechanics. A team of physicists at the Universities of Bristol, Vienna, the Balearic Islands and…

Hubble Spots a Swift Stellar Jet in Running Man Nebula

A jet from a newly formed star flares into the shining depths of reflection nebula NGC 1977 in this Hubble image. The jet (the orange object at the bottom center…

Partners & Sponsors