Macitentan treatment retards the progression of established pulmonary arterial hypertension in an animal model

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Background: Macitentan is a new endothelin receptor antagonist that is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension in humans. Treatment of established pulmonary hypertension with macitentan was studied using the monocrotaline model of pulmonary hypertension. Methods: Three groups of rats were created (n = 12): control (CON: macitentan only), monocrotaline (MCT: monocrotaline only) and macitentan (MACI: macitentan and monocrotaline). Monocrotaline (60 mg/kg) was injected in the MCT and MACI groups on day 0; volume matched saline was injected in the CON groups. Macitentan therapy (30 mg/kg/day) was commenced on day 11 in the CON and MACI groups. Serial echocardiography and ECGs were performed. The rats were sacrificed if they showed clinical deterioration. Results: The MCT and MACI rats showed signs of pulmonary hypertension by day 7 (maximum pulmonary velocity, CON 1.15 ± 0.15 m/s vs MCT 1.04 ± 0.10 m/s vs MACI 0.99 ± 0.18 m/s; p < 0.05). Both the MCT and MACI groups developed pulmonary hypertension, but this was less severe in the MACI group (day 21 pulmonary artery acceleration time, MCT 17.55 ± 1.56 ms vs MACI 22.55 ± 1.00 ms; pulmonary artery deceleration, MCT 34.72 ± 3.72 m/s2 vs MACI 17.30 ± 1.89 m/s2; p < 0.05). Right ventricular hypertrophy and QT interval increases were more pronounced in MCT than MACI (right ventricle wall thickness, MCT 0.13 ± 0.1 cm vs MACI 0.10 ± 0.1 cm; QT interval, MCT 85 ± 13 ms vs MACI 71 ± 14 ms; p < 0.05). Survival benefit was not seen in the MACI group (p = 0.50). Conclusions: Macitentan treatment improves haemodynamic parameters in established pulmonary hypertension. Further research is required to see if earlier introduction of macitentan has greater effects.




Temple, I. P., Monfredi, O., Quigley, G., Schneider, H., Zi, M., Cartwright, E. J., … Hart, G. (2014). Macitentan treatment retards the progression of established pulmonary arterial hypertension in an animal model. International Journal of Cardiology, 177(2), 423–428.

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