Two Part Treatment Proven Superior for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

According to a story from Pulmonary Hypertension News, the results of a recent phase 3 clinical trial have determined that patients with connective tissue disease-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (CTD-PAH) stand to see greater benefit from a combination treatment that consists of ambrisentan (marketed as Letairis) and tadalafil (marketed as Adcirca) than either drug on its own. This benefit was most decisively demonstrated in patients with disease that was considered low or intermediate risk.

About Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs is abnormally high. The cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension is often unknown in many cases. However, there are a variety of potential causes, such as certain heritable genetic mutations, exposure to certain toxins, and drug use (ex. methamphetamine). It can also appear as a symptom or complication in a number of other diseases, such as heart disease, connective tissue disease, and infection with HIV. The arteries in the lungs are often inflamed. Symptoms of this condition include rapid heartbeat, poor exercise tolerance, shortness of breath, fainting, leg swelling, fatigue, and chest pain. Treatment may include a number of medications and surgical operations, including lung transplant. A transplant can cure the condition, but it can cause many complications. Survival rate is often only about two or three years without treatment, but the latest drugs can prolong life by several years or more. Click here to learn more about pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Study Results

The analysis included data from a total of 216 patients. These patients were assigned at random to receive either the combination treatment or one of the medications alone. Patients with CTD-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension saw their risk of clinical failure drop 51.7 percent lower when using the combination versus a single drug. 

The researchers found that patients with higher risk disease would stand to benefit from more advanced therapy and the combination treatment might not be the best option for them. This is also true for patients who saw disease progression or lack of treatment response at follow up.

Check out the original study in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.


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