Sildenafil benefit small in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Sep 22, 2010

Sildenafil failed to significantly increase exercise capacity, but did improve arterial oxygenation, shortness of breath and quality of life in patients with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), in the first randomized trial of the medication for IPF. The study is published in the August 12, 2010, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Sildenafil failed to significantly increase , but did improve arterial oxygenation, shortness of breath and quality of life in patients with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), in the first of the medication for IPF. The study is published in the August 12, 2010, issue of the .

“While the study did not meet the primary end point of improved distance in the six-minute walk, the secondary findings on improved quality of life and better oxygenation are encouraging,” said pulmonologist Marvin Schwarz, MD, of National Jewish Health and University of Colorado, and one of the authors of the paper. “It is quite clear that these outcomes require more study.”

IPF is a progressive and fatal scarring of the lungs for which there is no approved treatment. Sildenafil is manufactured by Pfizer under the brand names Viagra and Revatio. Researchers thought sildenafil might help IPF patients by increasing blood flow to the lungs and thus improving gas exchange.

Researchers from 14 IPF centers randomized 180 IPF patients to receive oral sildenafil, 20 mg, three times daily, or placebo for 12 weeks. All patients received sildenafil in a second 12-week period.

The difference in the primary outcome was not significant, with 10 percent of patients in the sildenafil group and seven percent in the placebo group improving 20 percent or more in the distance they covered in a six-minute walk.

However, gas exchange, including arterial and carbon monoxide diffusion capacity did showed small but significant improvements. Patients also scored higher on three tests measuring quality of life and shortness of breath.

“There are no current therapies that improve survival in IPF patients, but clearly quality of life and degree of dyspnea are important,” said Dr. Schwarz.

Explore further: Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

Provided by National Jewish Health

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hope for patients with mild idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

May 18, 2010

A new therapy shows promise for patients with mild idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. According to researchers in Japan, inhaled N-acetylcysteine (NAC) monotherapy preserves more lung function in some idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis ...

New prognostic indicator for patients with IPF

Feb 20, 2009

There may be a new way to predict mortality in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a devastating disease that slowly petrifies the lungs. Most patients live only three years after diagnosis on average; however, ...

Rare lung disease cells indicate higher death risk

Jan 16, 2008

Large numbers of certain cells in the lungs of patients diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis may increase their chance of death, University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have discovered.

Recommended for you

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

7 hours ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

23 hours ago

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

Jan 30, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.