Transition from parental prostacyclin to selexipag: a case series of five pulmonary arterial hypertension patients

Parental prostacyclin is the only therapy with a proven survival benefit in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, some patients are unable to tolerate continuous prostacyclin infusion because of central line infection, side effects, or sociocultural factors. Selexipag is a recently approved prostacyclin receptor agonist that is able to blunt PAH disease progression. Although in the same molecular pathway, the interchangeability of selexipag with prostacyclin infusions is relatively unexplored. Here, we present a case series of five stable PAH patients who were functional class (FC) I or II that were transitioned from prostacyclin infusion to selexipag using a standardized protocol in the inpatient setting. We show that the transition to selexipag in five highly selected patients was tolerated with no significant changes in FC, minimal changes in pulmonary vascular disease severity, and no significant PAH-related complications. However, there was a trend for a reduction in cardiac index after transition to selexipag. These data suggest that a transition from prostacyclin infusion to selexipag can be achieved in clinically stable PAH patients who are unable to tolerate continuous prostacyclin infusion. However, this approach should only be selectively implemented at specialized centers with close follow-up due to the trend for a reduction in cardiac index after transition to selexipag.

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Topics

Hemodynamics
cardiac index
pulmonary vascular resistance

Authors

Nathan Holthaus, Kurt W. Prins, Lauren Rose, Sasha Prisco, Marc Pritzker, Thenappan Thenappan

Published in:

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 9: No 3 cover image

September 2019

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 9: No 3

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