Hemodynamic Stability After Transitioning Between Endothelin Receptor Antagonists in Patients With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Benjamin Fox, David Langleben*, Andrew M. Hirsch, Robert D. Schlesinger, Mark J. Eisenberg, Dominique Joyal, Fay Blenkhorn, Lyda Lesenko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Maintenance of a favourable hemodynamic profile is central to therapeutic success in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). There is little information about the safety of transitioning patients between oral therapies for PAH. Endothelin receptor antagonists (ERAs) have been a therapeutic mainstay in PAH, providing benefit to many patients. Three ERAs, bosentan, sitaxsentan, and ambrisentan have been approved for clinical use. Sitaxsentan was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in late 2010 resulting in the need to quickly transition a large number of stable patients. Methods: We transitioned 30 clinically stable patients to either ambrisentan or bosentan. Patients underwent a right heart catheterization, measurement of serum N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and assessment of functional class before changing ERA and again 4 months later. We present a retrospective analysis of those data. Results: Of the 30 patients transitioned (15 to ambrisentan, 15 to bosentan), 23 had complete hemodynamic data. No significant change was observed in the groups in right atrial, mean pulmonary artery, and pulmonary artery wedge pressures, or in cardiac output, pulmonary vascular resistance, or NT-proBNP levels. There was no change in World Health Organization functional class. Four ambrisentan and 2 bosentan-treated patients reported fluid retention, and 3 bosentan-treated patients had elevation of hepatic transaminases. Two of the patients had a right atrial pressure increase of ≥5 mm Hg, and 4 had pulmonary artery wedge pressure increase of ≥5 mm Hg. Conclusions: Transitioning between ERAs in stable PAH patients does not result in hemodynamic or clinical deterioration during the first 4 months posttransition. A minority of patients have developed increased cardiac filling pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-677
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


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