Viagra For Heart Disease?

ED drug may help pediatric heart patients with exercise

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Proper exercise is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but people born with single ventricle heart disease have many hurdles to overcome in order to exercise safely. A new study indicates that safer exercise for this population may be just three pills a day of Viagra away.

Researchers conducted a double blind study to see if single ventricle heart disease patients who had undergone corrective surgery concluding with a Fontan operation were able to exercise better.

"Erectile dysfunction drugs may help children who have had heart surgery."

David J. Goldberg, M.D., pediatric cardiologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and primary investigator of this study reports dramatically improved early operative success has been achieved over the past 20 years, but the life-saving surgery "does not recreate a normal two-ventricle circulation, instead the series of surgeries creates a unique physiology in which exercise capacity is dramatically diminished."

Results fo the study with viagra showed imprroved ventilatory efficiency and improved ability to perform moderate levels of exercise. These changes suggest an overall improvement in the physiology associated with this unique circulation.

Single ventricle heart disease is a life-threatening birth defect in which a child is born with severe underdevelopment of one of the pumping chambers of the heart.

The Study

  • All patients involved in the study had earlier undergone the Fontan operation
  • Fontan operation redirects systemic venous blood directly to the pulmonary arteries
  • 28 children and young adults who had already undergone the Fontan operation an average of 11 years earlier received either a placebo or sildenafil three times a day for 6 weeks
  • After a 6 week break from treatment, subjects were switched to the opposite treatment course
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Review Date: 
April 23, 2011
Last Updated:
May 26, 2011