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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Treatment of thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease) with bosentan

Joaquin De Haro*, Francisco Acin, Silvia Bleda, Cesar Varela and Leticia Esparza

Author Affiliations

Department of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Madrid, Spain

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2012, 12:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-5

Published: 14 February 2012

Abstract

Background

This study assessed the effectiveness and safety of bosentan when administered to thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease) patients.

Methods

A clinical pilot study was designed in which patients with ulcer and/or pain at rest were treated with bosentan p.o. at a dose of 62.5 mg twice daily during the first month, which was thereafter up-titrated to 125 mg twice daily. The study endpoints were clinical improvement rate, major or minor amputation rate, haemodynamic changes, changes in endothelial function and angiographic changes.

Results

Seven out of 12 patients were male (58%). Median age was 39 years (range 29-49). The median follow-up was 20 months (range 11-40). All patients were smokers. With bosentan treatment, new ischaemic lesions were observed in only one patient. Overall, clinical improvement was observed in 12 of the 13 extremities (92%). Only two out of 13 extremities underwent amputation (one major and one minor) after bosentan treatment. After being assessed by digital arteriography with subtraction or angio-magnetic resonance imaging, an increase of distal flow was observed in 10 out of the 12 patients. All patients experienced a statistically significant improvement in their BAFMD values (mean: 1.8 at baseline; 6.6 at the end of the treatment; 12.7 three months after the end of the treatment; p < 0.01).

Conclusion

Bosentan treatment may result in an improvement of clinical, angiographic and endothelial function outcomes. Bosentan should be investigated further in the management of TAO patients. Larger studies are required to confirm these results.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01447550