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Liver injury due to endothelin receptor antagonists: a real-world study based on post-marketing drug monitoring data.

BACKGROUND: Liver injury is the hallmark adverse reaction of endothelin receptor antagonist (ERA). Since the first drug, bosentan has been widely used in clinical practice, hepatotoxicity has been accompanied by the history of ERA. The new ERA has been proven to have a lower liver risk but the current research findings are inconsistent. ERA-based targeted drug combinations are commonly used in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, where the risk of liver injury is difficult to estimate.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to compare the correlation between ERA and different ERA combination regimens with liver injury in the real world.

DESIGN: This is a retrospective study using data from the Adverse Event Reporting System (Food and Drug Administration AERS, FAERS).

METHODS: The study used proportional imbalance and Bayesian analysis to mine FAERS data from January 2004 to December 2022 to determine the association of three ERAs with liver injury and to further mine the risk of liver injury due to the combination of ERAs with other targeted drugs. In addition, we analyzed the onset time, mortality, and hospitalization rate of liver injury caused by different ERA combination regimens.

RESULTS: We screened out 3581 ERA-related liver injury events, of which bosentan (59.82%) had the largest number of cases. The patients with liver injury were mainly female (60.63%), and the age was concentrated between 61 and 75 years (26.75%). According to different signal mining methods, reporting odds ratio (ROR; 3.38, 95% confidence interval = 3.23-3.53), proportional reporting ratio (PRR; 3.22, χ 2  = 37.84), Bayesian confidence propagation neural network (BCPNN; 1.68, 95% confidence interval = 1.61), multi-item gamma Poisson shrinker (MGPS; 3.21, 95% confidence interval = 3.09), bosentan had the strongest association with liver injury compared to ambrisentan and macitentan. Furthermore, bosentan + sildenafil [ROR (2.52, 95% confidence interval = 2.23-2.84), PRR (2.44, χ 2  = 15.92), BCPNN (1.29, 95% confidence interval = 1.14), MGPS (2.44, 95% confidence interval = 2.21)], bosentan + epoprostenol [ROR (5.39, 95% confidence interval = 4.29-6.77), PRR (4.94, χ 2  = 65.18), BCPNN (2.30, 95% confidence interval = 1.83), MGPS (4.94, 95% confidence interval = 4.08)], bosentan + iloprost [ROR (2.70, 95% confidence interval = 2.11-3.45), PRR (2.61, χ 2  = 31.03), BCPNN (1.38, 95% confidence interval = 1.08), MGPS (2.61, 95% confidence interval = 2.12)] had a higher risk of liver injury caused by the three ERA combination regimens. The median time to onset of hepatotoxicity associated with all ERA combination regimens was 259 days (interquartile range: 58-716.5 days). Finally, the hospitalization rate for patients experiencing hepatotoxicity with ERA combination regimens was 47.86% and the mortality rate was 12.67%.

CONCLUSION: By mining the FAERS, we analyzed and compared the risk of liver injury related to different ERA and ERA combination regimens, and the onset time and adverse reaction outcomes of all ERA combination regimens. According to the results of the study, bosentan had the highest risk of liver injury and the combination regimens bosentan + sildenafil, bosentan + epoprostenol, and bosentan + iloprost had a stronger risk of liver injury. From the early stages of treatment, we need to regularly monitor the liver function of patients, especially for females and the elderly, and discontinue the suspected drug as soon as the liver injury occurs.

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