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

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2261-12-5

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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.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).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.ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01447550Buerger's disease, also known as thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO), is a thrombotic, occlusive, non-atherosclerotic, segmental vasculitis of small and medium-sized arteries and veins, which may involve both upper and lower extremities. The onset usually occurs in people of around the age of 45, and is more frequent in male smokers. As a consequence of the increase in tobacco use, an increase in the incidence of TAO in women has been observed in the last 20 years [1,2].Intermittent claudication and, in more advanced cases, pain at rest are

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