The effect of ciprostene in patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD) characterized by ischemic ulcers

Ciprostene Study Group

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    This randomized, double-blind study investigated the effect of ciprostene, a stable epoprostenol (prostacyclin) analog in patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD) characterized by ischemic ulcers. A total of 211 patients (106 ciprostene, 105 placebo) received IV infusions of ciprostene (120 ng/kg/min in 8-hour daily infusions for 7 days) or placebo. The two groups were comparable with regard to demographic data. Only 45% of the patients receiving ciprostene and 55% of the placebo patients completed the trial. The groups were similar in frequency of amputations, vascular surgery, and development of new ulcers. Among those who completed the trials an insignificantly higher percentage of patients receiving ciprostene had all ulcers heal completely. The reduction of ulcer size by at least 50% was higher in the ciprostene-treated group at month 4 (P = .005). Both ciprostene and placebo reduced the severity of a patient's rest pain. There was no difference in the ankle brachial index between the groups. Ciprostene induced a higher incidence of headache, nausea, and flushing during infusion when compared with the placebo group. The results confirmed inherent problems with studies in PVD, namely, scarcity of patients with ischemic ulcers, inclusion of severely ill patients leading to a high dropout rate, and a high placebo effect. Good tolerance and safety of ciprostene was documented in this patient population, and the therapeutic benefit was limited to partial reduction of ulcer size. Selection of patients with less advanced disease and a longer infusion of ciprostene may improve the clinical benefit of this agent.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-87
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1991


    • PGI2
    • TRIAL
    • ANALOG

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