Sildenafil treatment attenuates ventricular remodeling in an experimental model of aortic regurgitation

Kristian Eskesen, Niels Thue Olsen, Veronica L. Dimaano, Thomas Fritz-Hansen, Peter Sogaard, Khalid Chakir, Charles Steenbergen, David Kass, Theodore P. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Currently there is no reliable medical treatment for aortic regurgitation (AR). Methods: Thirty-nine Sprague–Dawley rats underwent creation of AR or sham operation. Treated rats were assigned to early or late institution of sildenafil therapy (100 mg/kg/day) for a total of 10 weeks. Treatment–effects were measured by serial echocardiography, invasive hemodynamic measurements, and tissue analysis. Results: Rats assigned to early treatment developed less remodeling than untreated rats. Thus, left ventricular (LV) dilation was blunted by sildenafil with end–systolic diameter being significantly smaller (6.6 ± 0.4 vs. 7.7 ± 0.4 mm, respectively, p < 0.05). Also, LV wall thickness was significantly decreased in treated rats compared to controls (2.23 ± 0.08 vs. 2.16 ± 0.05 mm, p < 0.01). Fractional shortening was improved by treatment (p < 0.05). Myocardial fibrosis was borderline decreased by treatment (p = 0.09). Akt was increased in treated compared to controls (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Sildenafil slightly inhibits LV remodeling and improves fractional shortening in rats with AR when treatment is initiated early.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number592
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Animal models
  • Aortic regurgitation
  • Echocardiography
  • Phosphodiesterase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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