From the Journals

Treprostinil improves function for complex PAH patients



Treatment with subcutaneous treprostinil significantly improved exercise capacity in patients with severe chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, a study based on data from 105 adults has shown.

Illustration of an x-ray of lungs goa_novi/ThinkStock

Data on the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) with treprostinil are limited, although alternatives to surgery are needed for many patients with the condition, wrote Roela Sadushi-Koliçi, MD, of the Medical University of Vienna, and her colleagues.

The researchers conducted a phase 3 randomized, controlled trial of the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous treprostinil for nonoperable CTEPH or persistent or recurrent pulmonary hypertension after pulmonary endarterectomy; the findings were published online in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The patients received continuous subcutaneous treprostinil at either 30 ng/kg per min (high dose) or 3 ng/kg per min (low dose) and all patients were assessed at weeks 6, 12, 18, and 24.

Overall, 6-minute walk distance, hemodynamics, and functional status significantly improved in the high-dose patients, compared with the low-dose patients.

The primary outcome of 6-minute walk distance increased by 44.98 m from baseline in the high-dose group, compared with an increase of 4.29 m from baseline in the low-dose group.

In addition, “changes in pulmonary vascular resistance, one of the most important prognostic indicators of CTEPH, were significant in favour of high-dose subcutaneous treprostinil, as were improvements of WHO functional class and N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide,” the researchers noted.

Rates of serious adverse events were similar between the groups; a total of 12 serious adverse events were reported in 10 of 52 patients in the low-dose group (19%) and 16 serious adverse events were reported in 9 of 53 patients in the high-dose group (17%). In both groups, the most common treatment-related adverse events were infusion site pain and other infusion site reactions.

The findings were limited by the small sample size and the possibility that the 6-minute walk test might not translate to long-term outcomes for PAH and CTEPH, the researchers wrote. However, the data support the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous treprostinil for CTEPH patients who do not tolerate riociguat, the other approved option for nonoperable CTEPH, or those who need combination therapy, they said.

The study was supported in part by SciPharm Sàrl and United Therapeutics, which provided the medication for part of the study. Dr. Sadushi-Koliçi disclosed relationships with Actelion, AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Schering Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline, and SciPharm Sàrl, among others.

SOURCE: Sadushi-Koliçi R et al. Lancet Respir Med. 2018 Nov 23. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(18)30367-9.

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