Pulmonary hypertension is a serious complication of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that currently has no established pharmacological treatment. This study aimed to assess whether concomitant treatment with sildenafil would enhance the results of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD and increased pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP). In this double-blind, randomised controlled trial patients received 20 mg sildenafil or placebo three times daily and underwent pulmonary rehabilitation for 3 months. The primary end-point was the gain in the cycle endurance time at a constant work-rate. Secondary end-points included performance in the incremental exercise test, 6-min walk distance and quality of life. 63 patients with severe COPD and moderately increased PAP were randomised. Cycle endurance time increased by 149 s (95% CI 26-518 s) in the sildenafil group and by 169 s (95% CI 0-768 s) in the placebo group (median change difference -7 s, 95% CI -540-244 s; p=0.77). Gains in the incremental exercise test, 6-min walk distance and quality of life at the end of the study did not differ between groups. Measurements of arterial oxygenation and adverse events were similar in both groups. In patients with severe COPD and moderately increased PAP, concomitant treatment with sildenafil does not improve the results of pulmonary rehabilitation in exercise tolerance. Copyright ©ERS 2013.
|Journal||European Respiratory Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2013|