Study supports use of PDE-5 inhibitors in pediatrics

Feb. 24 (UPI) — A review of research has shown that the use of phosphodiesterase type 5, or PDE-5, inhibitors are safe for treating pulmonary hypertension in infants and children.

Pulmonary hypertension, or PH, is a type of high blood pressure that affects arteries in the heart and lungs. Patients with PH have increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries, which carry blood from the heart to the lungs. Changes in the arteries make it harder for the heart to pump blood to the lungs over time, forcing the heart to work harder. This leads to less blood flow from the right to left side of the heart, which can impact the kidneys, liver and other organs.

“Pediatricians across the nation view the rise of pediatric pulmonary hypertension [PH] cases with growing concern because the disease can worsen, leading to right ventricular failure and death,” Dr. Chinwe Unegbu, assistant professor in the Division of Anesthesiology, Pain and Perioperative Medicine at Children’s National Health System and first author of the study, said in a press release.

“PH can occur in newborns, infants and children who have a number of health conditions, including congenital heart disease, the most common birth defect among newborns. There are few available treatments for the growing population of children affected by this condition, so it is heartening that the evidence supports PDE-5 inhibitors for patients with PH.”

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University reviewed the Medline, Embase, SCOPUS and…

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