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Featured Article:

Review of evidence for bosentan therapy for treatment of Eisenmenger syndrome

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners


Abstract

Background and purpose: Eisenmenger syndrome (ES) is a rare condition caused by a right-to-left cyanotic shunt. To date, only heart–lung transplant has been shown to be curative. Bosentan is the only medication studied with a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial for management of this condition. The intent of this article is to explore the literature surrounding bosentan in ES and assess its efficacy.

Methods: A literature review was conducted with no limitation on date. Titles were scanned for applicability, and abstracts of those articles found to be pertinent were reviewed. Those articles considered relevant based on the abstract were read in entirety.

Conclusions: Eisenmenger syndrome remains incurable except through heart–lung transplant. Although no specific medical treatment or algorithm exists, three pharmacological classes show promise in disease management: endothelin receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, and prostacyclins. Combined therapy with these agents may improve cardiopulmonary function. Bosentan has not been proven as a monotherapy for ES and is not appropriate in all patients as side effects are commonly reported.

Implications for practice: Further study is required to assess efficacy of combination therapy and utilization as a bridge to transplant or surgical correction of the underlying defect.

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