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Substantially increased sildenafil bioavailability after sublingual administration in children with congenital heart disease: two case reports.

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INTRODUCTION: Pulmonary hypertension is a progressive disease of diverse origin with devastating consequences in adults as well as in children. The phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor sildenafil successfully lowers pulmonary vascular resistance. However, because of its poor enteral absorption, resulting in ineffective plasma concentrations, responses in infants and children are often erratic. CASE PRESENTATIONS: We report the cases of two Caucasian boys, one born at term (case 1) and one aged 2.5 years (case 2), who had structural cardiac and pulmonary defects accompanied by symptomatic pulmonary hypertension. They received sildenafil enterally and sublingually and also intravenously in one of them. Plasma samples were taken at various time points to determine the plasma concentrations of sildenafil and its partially active metabolite. Sildenafil and N-desmethyl sildenafil were quantified using a validated liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method. Oxygen partial pressure was determined from routine arterial blood gas samples. CONCLUSION: In agreement with previous observations in adults, we found that sublingual sildenafil was more extensively absorbed in our two pediatric patients. After sublingual administration, sildenafil plasma concentrations increased by 314% to 361% compared to enteral dosing. Concurrently, the metabolic ratio increased, suggesting not only that the overall absorption was enhanced but also that first-pass metabolism was partially bypassed. In case 2, the free fraction of sildenafil was 0.9%, which is considerably less than in adults (4%), suggesting that, in case 2, higher plasma concentration would have been needed to achieve effects similar to those in adults. Sublingual sildenafil appears to be a promising alternative route of administration in children with poor enteral absorption.
Tijdschrift: Journal of medical case reports
ISSN: 1752-1947
Issue: 1
Volume: 8
Pagina's: 171
Jaar van publicatie:2014