Prostacyclin and prostaglandin E1 for severe idiopathic pulmonary artery hypertension
Prostacyclin seems to offer advantages in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary hypertension not found with other drugs. It is a normal product of vascular endothelium. Infusion of PGI 2 might be expected to offer at least two days of relieving increased pulmonary artery pressure and vascular resistance-by dilating pulmonary vascular smooth muscle and by disaggregation of pulmonary microthromboemboli. Brief periods of PGI 2 infusion in patients with idiopathic pulmonary hypertension may produce prolonged reversal of pulmonary vascular lesions analogous to the success with short-term PGI 2 in peripheral vascular disease.