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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Use of a mixed endothelin receptor antagonist in portopulmonary hypertension: a safe and effective therapy?

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Portopulmonary hypertension (PPHTN), a severe complication of portal hypertension is observed in 3%-6% of patients evaluated for liver transplantation. Endothelin-1, a potent vasoconstrictor, is likely to play a role in the pathogenesis of primary pulmonary hypertension, and, in 2 recent trials, the dual endothelin receptor antagonist bosentan has shown beneficial effects in this disease. A role for endothelins in the development of both pulmonary hypertension and cirrhosis has been suggested. We therefore hypothesized that endothelin receptor blockade may be beneficial in the treatment of PPHTN. METHODS: We report a case of a 42-year-old patient with PPHTN and alcoholic cirrhosis treated with the mixed endothelin receptor antagonist bosentan. RESULTS: The patient rapidly improved from NYHA IV to stage II, experienced a remarkable improvement of 6-minute walking distance from 0 to 590 m within 6 months, and resumed working full-time as a locksmith after 7 months of treatment. Improvement of cardiovascular parameters included a reduction of pulmonary vascular resistance by 60%, a decrease of mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) from 55 to 44 mm Hg at 9 months, and a decline of plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) from 339 pg/mL to 19 pg/mL after 1 year. There were no adverse events except for a transient decrease in systemic blood pressure. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first report of a patient with PPHTN treated with an endothelin receptor antagonist. The marked and sustained improvement supports the undertaking of controlled studies of the safety and efficacy of bosentan in PPHTN.[1]


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