Background: Intravenous epoprostenol is the only drug proved in a randomized study to reduce mortality in patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, administration of this drug has procedural difficulties and a risk of sepsis. Oral drugs provide simple treatment, but their benefit for survival has not been proven. A recovery of patients with PAH to World Health Organization functional class (WHO-FC) I or II may predict favorable survival. Methods. Survival analyses were performed on a historical cohort of 41 patients with PAH. The patients were 43 ± 22 years old, 23 had idiopathic or heritable PAH, and 18 had connective tissue disease-associated PAH. The baseline was defined as the initial visit to a medical facility. Results: The median duration of follow-up was 1276 days (108 to 5389 days) and 21 patients died during this period. The estimated survival times for patients who received intravenous epoprostenol and did and did not recover to WHO-FC I or II were 4371 ± 577 days and 1172 ± 404 days, respectively. These times for patients who were not treated with intravenous epoprostenol and did and did not recover to WHO-FC I or II were 4717 ± 554 days and 925 ± 230 days, respectively. A Cox proportional hazard analysis gave a hazard ratio for death after recovery to WHO-FC I or II of 0.07 (P < 0.001). In contrast, use of intravenous epoprostenol was not a significant factor affecting survival (P = 0.96). Conclusions: Patients with PAH who achieve recovery to WHO-FC I or II without use of intravenous epoprostenol have similar survival to those who reach the same WHO-FC with use of intravenous epoprostenol. Benign survival of patients with PAH who have recovered to WHO-FC I or II may extend for several years after onset of the disease. © 2014 Yamamoto et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Yamamoto, K., Takeda, Y., Takeda, Y., Naniwa, T., Narita, H., & Ohte, N. (2014). Long-term survival of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension recovering to World Health Organization functional class i or II: A historical comparison between intravenous epoprostenol and oral agents. BMC Research Notes, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-7-359