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Paediatric pulmonary hypertension and sildenafil: current practice and controversies
  1. A J Wardle1,
  2. R M R Tulloh1,2
  1. 1University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Cardiology, University Hospitals Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Robert M R Tulloh, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol BS2 8BJ, UK; robert.tulloh{at}uhbristol.nhs.uk

Abstract

In recent times, paediatric pulmonary arterial hypertension management has been transformed to focus on disease modifying strategies that improve both quality of life and survival, rather than just symptom palliation. Sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase-V inhibitor, has been at the centre of this. Despite controversial beginnings, its success in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension has led to its consideration for related pathologies such as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, as well as the development of a range of alternative formulations. However, this has caused its own controversy and confusion regarding the use of sildenafil in younger patients. In addition, recent data regarding long-term mortality and the repeal of US drugs approval have complicated the issue. Despite such setbacks, sildenafil continues to be a major component of the contemporary care of paediatric pulmonary hypertension in a variety of contexts, and this does not seem likely to change in the foreseeable future.

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