Sildenafil in Heart Failure (SilHF). An investigator-initiated multinational randomized controlled clinical trial: rationale and design

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AimsHeart failure (HF) is a major clinical problem and, despite advances in both pharmacological and device therapy, the mortality remains high and quality of life poor. Over the last decade there has been growing interest in using phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors in HF associated with group 2 pulmonary hypertension (PH), with benefits reported on pulmonary haemodynamic and functional status in single-centre trialsMethodsThe Sildenafil in Heart Failure (SilHF) trial is a randomized, placebo-controlled multinational trial designed to assess efficacy and tolerability of PDE-5 inhibition with sildenafil (target dose 40 mg three times per day) in 210 patients with HF, New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class II or III, and evidence of group 2 PH. The co-primary endpoints are patient global assessment and the 6 min walk test. Secondary endpoints include NYHA functional class and the quality of life tools Euro QoL 5D and the Kansas City questionnaire. Patients will be followed up for 6 months.PerspectiveThe authors hypothesize that PDE-5 inhibition can improve exercise capacity and symptoms with acceptable tolerability in patients with HF and group 2 PH

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