RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Tadalafil for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension: a double-blind 52-week uncontrolled extension study.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term safety and durability of efficacy of tadalafil for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

BACKGROUND: Tadalafil is an oral phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor approved for PAH treatment. In the multicenter, placebo-controlled, randomized, 16-week PHIRST (Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and Response to Tadalafil) study, tadalafil 40 mg improved exercise capacity and delayed clinical worsening.

METHODS: Eligible patients from PHIRST received once-daily tadalafil 20 mg (T20 mg) or 40 mg (T40 mg) (n = 357) in the double-blind, 52-week, uncontrolled extension study (PHIRST-2); 293 patients completed PHIRST-2. Durability of efficacy was explored using the 6-min walk distance (6MWD) test. Clinical worsening and changes in World Health Organization functional class were evaluated.

RESULTS: The safety profile of tadalafil in PHIRST-2 was similar to that in PHIRST, with typical phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor adverse events. The 6MWDs achieved in PHIRST for the subset of patients receiving T20 mg and T40 mg in both PHIRST and PHIRST-2 (406 ± 67 m [n = 52] and 413 ± 81 m [n = 59] at PHIRST-2 enrollment, respectively) were maintained at PHIRST-2 completion (415 ± 80 m [n = 51] and 410 ± 78 m [n = 59], respectively). Numerically fewer patients who were on T40 mg in PHIRST and PHIRST-2 experienced World Health Organization functional class deterioration (6% [n = 5]) compared with those randomized to T20 mg (9% [n = 7]) across both studies. Post hoc analyses showed that background bosentan use and higher 6MWD at PHIRST baseline were associated with fewer clinical worsening events.

CONCLUSIONS: Long-term treatment with tadalafil was well tolerated in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. In patients receiving either T20 mg or T40 mg, the improvements in 6MWD demonstrated in the 16-week PHIRST study appeared sustained for up to 52 additional weeks of treatment in PHIRST-2. (Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and Response to Tadalafil Study; NCT00549302).

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