Acute vasoreactivity testing for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) has been reported to be useful to identify patients with sustained beneficial response to oral calcium-channel blockers (CCBs), but there is a risk of exacerbation during the testing with oral CCBs. Therefore, we developed a testing method utilizing intravenous nicardipine, a short-acting CCB, and examined the safety and usefulness of acute vasoreactivity testing with nicardipine in PAH patients. Acute vasoreactivity testing with nicardipine was performed in 65 PAH patients. Nicardipine was administered by short-time continuous infusion (1 μg·kg-1·min-1 for 5 min and 2 μg·kg-1·min-1 for 5 min) followed by bolus injection (5 μg/kg). Hemodynamic responses were continuously measured using a right heart catheter. Acute responders were defined as patients who showed a decrease in mean pulmonary artery pressure of at least 10 mmHg to an absolute level below 40 mmHg with preserved or increased cardiac output. Two acute responders and sixty-three non-acute responders were identified. There was no hemodynamic instability requiring additional inotropic agents or death during the testing. Acute responders had good responses to long-term oral CCBs. The acute vasoreactivity testing with nicardipine might be safe and useful for identifying CCB responders in PAH patients.
- Acute vasoreactivity testing
- Calcium-channel blocker
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine