Results of a new 12-week study combining iloprost and bosentan showed improvements in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). University of Michigan Medical Center researchers followed 65 PAH patients being treated with the endothelian receptor antagonist bosentan. Thirty-two patients began taking inhaled iloprost in addition to bosentan; 33 received bosentan plus placebo. At the end of 12 weeks, the bosentan-iloprost group could walk 98 feet farther in their 6-minute walk test. Eleven of the 32 in the combination-therapy group showed improvement, and none of them showed signs of clinical deterioration. PAH is characterized by a progressive narrowing of the blood vessels in the lungs and can be fatal. Symptoms, which only get worse over time, include shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and fainting.
The report can be found in the December 2006 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.