Treatment of digital ulcers in systemtic sclerosis with endothelin-1 receptor antagonist (bosentan)
AbstractIn systemic sclerosis (SSc) occurrence of recurrent digital ulcers (DU) is cause of pain and functional disability of hands. Treatment with vasodilator agents, such as calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, prostanoids, has not shown to be an effective therapy. There is evidence that endotelin-1 (ET-1) is a key mediator in regulation of vascular tone and its enhanced production in SSc is believed to lead to vasoconstriction, vessel remodelling, local ischemia and ulcers of fingertips. Recently, an oral endothelin receptor antagonist, bosentan, has been proved to be effective in the treatment of SSc associated pulmonar arterial hypertension (PAH) and to decrease the development of new DU in patients with SSc. In this study, we assessed the occurrence of new DU in eight patients with SSc associated PAH and one SSc patient with recurrent DU refractory to standard vasodilatation therapy. All patients received bosentan at dosage of 62.5 mg bid for 4 weeks and 125 mg bid thereafter for one year. All patients had 3-4 DU of hands at baseline and one patients had also ulcers at lower limbs. In seven out of nine patients we did not record the occurrence of new DU and we also observed a 50% reduction of existing DU, whereas new DU occurred only in two patients. These data suggest that ET-1 plays a key role in DU induction in SSc patients and that ET-1 inhibition by bosentan can be an effective therapeutic strategy.
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Copyright (c) 1970 M.T. Riccardi, A. Chialà, F. Iannone, V. Grattagliano, M. Covelli, G. Lapadula
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