Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common clinical condition associated with morbidity and mortality in both humans and dogs. Sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitor causing accumulation of cGMP, is frequently used for treatment of PH. The authors previously reported a PDE5A:E90K polymorphism in dogs that results in lower basal cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) concentrations than in wild-type dogs, which could contribute to variability in the efficacy of sildenafil. In this study, response to sildenafil therapy was evaluated in dogs with PH by comparing echocardiographic parameters, quality-of-life (QOL) score, and plasma cGMP concentrations before and after sildenafil therapy. Overall, tricuspid regurgitation estimated systolic pressure gradient (PG) and QOL score were significantly improved after sildenafil therapy, and the plasma cGMP concentration was significantly decreased. Dogs that had a heterozygous PDE5A status had a significantly worse QOL score when compared to the wildtype group after sildenafil treatment. The simple and multiple regression analyses revealed a significant but weak prediction for the percent reduction in QOL score with sildenafil treatment by plasma cGMP level and by the PDE5A:E90K polymorphic status. This study showed that sildenafil treatment improved PH in dogs, and the PDE5A:E90K polymorphism blunted the efficacy of sildenafil in terms of QOL improvement.
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