Haemodynamic changes in pulmonary hypertension in patients with interstitial lung disease treated with PDE-5 inhibitors

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Background and objective

Interstitial lung diseases (ILD) are often associated with pulmonary hypertension (PH). This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic benefit of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors in pulmonary hypertension secondary to ILD.


Patients with ILD and PH were treated with sildenafil or tadalafil. Right heart catheterization was performed before and after a minimum of 3-month treatment. In addition, lung function, 6-min walk distance (6MWD) and plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) concentration were assessed.


Ten ILD patients (three female, mean age 64.4 ± 9.0 years, six with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), four with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, (HP)) with significant precapillary PH (mean pulmonary artery pressure (PAPm) ≥ 25 mmHg, pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) > 280 dyn*s*cm−5; pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWPm) ≤ 15 mmHg) were treated with either sildenafil (n = 5) or tadalafil (n = 5). Pulmonary haemodynamics were severely impaired at baseline (PAPm 42.9 ± 5.4 mmHg; cardiac index (CI) 2.7 ± 0.6 L/min/m2; PVR 519 ± 131 dyn × sec × cm−5). After mean follow-up of 6.9 ± 5.8 months an increase in CI (2.9 ± 0.7 L/min/m2, P = 0.04) and a decrease in PVR (403 ± 190 dyn × sec × cm−5, P = 0.03) were observed. 6MWD and BNP did not change significantly.


Our data suggest that treatment with PDE-5 inhibitors improves pulmonary haemodynamic patients with PH secondary to ILD.


Our study demonstrates sustained haemodynamic improvements in patients with pulmonary hypertension secondary to ILD after treatment with the PDE-5 inhibitors sildenafil and tadalafil. Previous studies have suggested a clinical benefit; this is the first study to demonstrate long-term improvements of invasively measured pulmonary haemodynamics.

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