July 24, 2008 Recent studies have shown that bosentan therapy greatly improves the quality of life for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). According to a study in Respirology published by Wiley-Blackwell, treatments with oral Bosentan reduces resistance in blood flow – allowing the heart and lungs to work more efficiently and in turn, enables patients to increase exercise capacity and quality of life.
PAH is a syndrome where one experiences continuous high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, or the blood vessels supplying blood to the lungs. In PAH, the heart has to work very hard to pump against the high resistance and eventually weakens. When it loses the ability to pump enough blood, heart failure occurs and often death.
Although there is no cure for PAH, there are treatments that are beneficial to the patients. Bosentan is an oral endothelin receptor antagonist that significantly improves functional status, increase blood flow and survival of patients.
Lead author, Mr. Geoff Strange says, “Quality of life is an important consideration in the treatment of diseases such as PAH, in which prognosis is typically poor. In such chronic diseases, patients view improvement in quality of life as an important measure of treatment success.”
After three months of Bosentan treatment, patients showed improvements in their exercise capacity in the six minute walk test (6MWT), as well as domains that measured quality of life. Although the assessment of quality of life and 6MWT provides complementary data at individual time points, they did not correlate over time as a response to therapy.
Professor Eli Gabbay, from the Royal Perth Hospital and The University of Western Australia adds, “While quality of life and 6MWT data were parallel at individual points, quality of life may improve on Bosentan therapy independent of the improvements in 6MWT. The quality of life domains should be specifically assessed to improve the monitoring of patients with PAH as changes in quality of life cannot be extrapolated from routine clinical variables.”
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