Objective: Sildenafil is a strong pulmonary vasodilator that increases the intracellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate concentration through inhibition of phosphodiesterase-5. We assessed the benefit of oral sildenafil for persistent pulmonary hypertension early after congenital cardiac surgery in paediatric patients. Methods: Sildenafil was administered at a starting dose of 0.5 mg kg -1 following admission to the intensive care unit. With careful monitoring of haemodynamics, the dose was increased stepwise by 0.5 mg kg -1 every 4-6 h up to a maximum of 2 mg kg -1. After successful weaning from a ventilator and from other vasodilators, sildenafil was gradually discontinued over the next 5-7 days. Results: A retrospective review of medical records showed an age distribution of <1 month (n = 26), ≥1 - <6 months (n = 36), ≥6 - <12 months (n = 19), 1-3 years (n = 8), 4-9 years (n = 9) and >10 years (n = 2) at the time of surgery. The surgeries were performed for ventricular septal defect closure (n = 17), arterial switch (n = 30), truncus arteriosus repair (n = 10), complete atrioventricular septal defect repair (n = 12), total anomalous venous drainage repair (n = 9), and other open-heart surgery (n = 22). The aforementioned concomitant inhaled nitrous oxide treatment was performed in 66 patients. Pulmonary arterial pressure decreased in 28, was unchanged in five and elevated in one patient out of the total of 34 cases for which data from continuous pressure monitoring were available. Bosentan was added in three cases with persistent symptoms due to pulmonary hypertension despite sildenafil treatment. After sildenafil administration, modest oxygen desaturation occurred in seven cases, but no 'rebound' pulmonary hypertension occurred. There were no significant adverse events during sildenafil treatment. Conclusions: Our results suggest that oral sildenafil is a safe and effective alternate for persistent pulmonary hypertension following congenital heart surgery in children. © 2010 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.
Nemoto, S., Sasaki, T., Ozawa, H., Katsumata, T., Kishi, K., Okumura, K., … Umegaki, O. (2010). Oral sildenafil for persistent pulmonary hypertension early after congenital cardiac surgery in children. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 38(1), 71–77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejcts.2010.01.045