Effects of Inhaled Iloprost for the Management of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn

Sourabh Verma, Rishi Lumba, Sadaf H Kazmi, Michelle J Vaz, Shrawani Soorneela Prakash, Sean M Bailey, Pradeep V Mally, Tara M Randis
American Journal of Perinatology 2021 January 21

OBJECTIVE:  The study aimed to evaluate the effects of inhaled iloprost on oxygenation indices in neonates with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

STUDY DESIGN:  We conducted a retrospective chart review of 30 patients with PPHN from January 2014 to November 2018, who did not respond to inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) alone and received inhaled iloprost. Twenty-two patients met the inclusion criteria and eight patients were excluded from the study (complex cardiac disease and extreme prematurity). Patients were categorized as responders or nonresponders (patients who required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or died). Oxygenation index, mean airway pressure (MAP), and arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2 ) were recorded.

RESULTS:  Among a total of 22 patients who were included in the study, 10 were classified as nonresponders as they required either extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or died. Gestational age and gender did not differ between responders and nonresponders. The median PaO2 was lower (37 vs. 42 mm Hg; p  < 0.05) and median MAP was higher (20 vs. 17 cm H2 O; p  < 0.02) in nonresponders compared with responders just prior to initiating iloprost. Iloprost responders had a significant increase in median PaO2 and decrease in median oxygenation index in the 24 hours after initiating treatment ( p  < 0.05), with no significant change in required mean airway pressure over that same period. There was no change in vasopressor use or clinically significant worsening of platelets count, liver, and kidney functions after initiating iloprost.

CONCLUSION:  Inhaled iloprost is well tolerated and seems to have beneficial effects in improving oxygenation indices in neonates with PPHN who do not respond to iNO. There is a need of well-designed prospective trials to further ascertain the benefits of using inhaled iloprost as an adjunct treatment in neonates with PPHN who do not respond to iNO alone.

KEY POINTS: · Inhaled iloprost seems to have beneficial effects in improving oxygenation indices in PPHN.. · Inhaled iloprost is generally well tolerated in newborns with PPHN.. · There is a need for prospective RCTs to further ascertain the benefits of using inhaled iloprost..

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