New Study Shows Long-Term Benefits for Patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Results of a recent two-year study show promising long-term survival benefits for patients living with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), a progressive, life-threatening disease in which the small blood vessels in the lungs become scarred and narrowed causing the pressure in the pulmonary arteries to rise to dangerously high levels, putting a major strain on the heart.

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Paris, FR (PRWEB) April 24, 2009

Results of a recent two-year study show promising long-term survival benefits for patients living with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), a progressive, life-threatening disease in which the small blood vessels in the lungs become scarred and narrowed causing the pressure in the pulmonary arteries to rise to dangerously high levels, putting a major strain on the heart.

During the last decade, there has been an explosion of novel, targeted treatment options, which have shown to increase quality of life and exercise tolerance in individuals living with PAH; however, research of these new treatments has focused mainly on outcomes other than survival in shorter term three-to-12 month studies.

Data will be presented tomorrow (Saturday, April 25) during the morning plenary session (9:15am local time) at the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) Annual Meeting at the Palais des Congres in Paris.

In tomorrow's ISHLT session, Professor Anne Keogh, Senior Transplant Cardiologist, St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia, will discuss information specific to a study of longer-term effects of the oral treatment of Ambrisentan (ABS) in patients with PAH.

According to Professor Keogh, ABS doses of 5 mg or 10 mg per day were associated with 87 percent and 94 percent, respectively, two-year survival rates. Only one in five patients required additional drug therapy. Functional parameters and exercise tolerance were improved, and clinical worsening was reduced by ABS.

Discussion during this year's ISHLT meeting presents a unique forum for debating the latest advances in the management of patients with PAH. The annual ISHLT sessions provide the only formal international gathering where pulmonologists, cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons meet to share the very latest research and breakthroughs. PAH is a disease that is pertinent to the practices of all of these specialists, so it is of particular interest to ISHLT.

Treatment for PAH:

Ambrisentan, approved for use in patients with PAH, is a selective oral endothelin receptor antagonist, which means it blocks the action of endothelin, a very potent, naturally occurring vasoconstrictor that is capable of causing severe narrowing of the blood vessels. This treatment is intended to improve the symptoms, exercise tolerance and overall survival of PAH patients. Ambrisentan is believed to be associated with a lower risk of liver toxicity and fewer significant drug-to-drug interactions than other approved oral endothelin receptor antagonists.

Without treatment the prognosis for patients with PAH is worse than many cancers, yet until recently there has been no evidence that targeted oral treatments offer significant longer term survival benefits. The results of this two-year study are novel and will increase understanding of the role of such medications in PAH for physicians and patients.

About ISHLT:

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) is a not-for-profit organization with more than 2,700 members from over 45 countries dedicated to the advancement of the science and treatment of end-stage heart and lung diseases. For more information, visit http://www.ishlt.org.

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