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Efficacy of sildenafil in treating paediatric pulmonary arterial hypertension is controversial. This systematic review aimed to explore the safety and effect of sildenafil on treating paediatric pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) through meta-analysis.
Methods and results:
In this study, the electronic databases, including the Cochran Library database, EMBASE, and MEDLINE were systemically retrieved to identify the related randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Two reviewers had independently completed study selection, data collection, and assessment of the bias risk. Amongst 938 articles researched according to our retrieval strategy, 15 papers that involved 673 cases had been screened. Relative to control group, the sildenafil group had markedly reduced mortality (RR = 0.25, 95% CI: 0.12–0.51; p < 0.0001), but difference within the mortality was not statistically significant between high- and low-dose sildenafil groups (p = 0.152). Nonetheless, difference of the mean pulmonary arterial pressure between sildenafil as well as control group was of no statistical significance. Differences in the length of hospital stay and the incidences of pulmonary hypertensive crisis between children with PAH and controls were of no statistical significance. However, the summary estimate favoured that sildenafil reduced the duration of mechanical ventilation time, as well as the length of ICU stay and inotropic support.
Sildenafil therapy reduces the mortality of PAH patients, but its effects on the haemodynamic outcomes and other clinical outcomes are still unclear.
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