Therapeutic potential of endothelin receptor antagonists and nitric oxide donors in pulmonary hypertension

R. G. Tilton, T. A. Brock, R. A.F. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Pulmonary hypertension can occur idiopathically as a primary disorder of the pulmonary circulation or more commonly, it can exist as a haemodynamic manifestation of a wide variety of pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases, including acute lung injury, chronic obstructive lung disease, congenital heart disease, mitral stenosis, chronic left-sided congestive heart failure and connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma. Pulmonary hypertension is associated with changes in vascular tone as well as vascular structure, with the relative contribution of each dependent upon the aetiology of the increased pulmonary vascular resistance. Most currently available treatment utilise anticoagulants as well as vasodilator drugs that only attenuate the vasoconstrictive component of the disease. The latter category includes oral calcium channel blockers, iv. and aerosolised prostacyclin analogues and inhaled nitric oxide but all three classes of vasodilators have disadvantages and limitations. Treatment with vasodilators is often ineffective in patients with longstanding pulmonary hypertension in which structural changes contribute significantly to the pulmonary hypertension, blood flow obstruction and right heart failure. In view of the immense clinical need, new therapies are being developed by pharmaceutical companies to treat pulmonary hypertension. This update will focus on the current development status of endotheli receptor antagonists and nitric oxide donors for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1308
Number of pages18
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 24 2001


  • ET and ET antagonists
  • Endothelin
  • Endothelin receptors
  • NO donors
  • Nitric oxide
  • Pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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