Objective: In this pilot study, the effect of sildenafil on digital ulcer (DU) healing and related clinical symptoms was analysed. Methods: A total of 19 patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) were treated with maximally tolerated sildenafil doses up to 6 months. Primary outcome was the healing of DUs. Changes in other clinical symptoms were also evaluated. Results: In all, 49 DUs were present at baseline; this decreased to 17 ulcers (p<0.001) at the end of sildenafil treatment. Furthermore, the visual analogue scale (VAS) score for Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), pain and activity improved (p=0.003, p=0.002 and p=0.05, respectively). A total of 9 patients developed 12 new DUs during sildenafil treatment. Conclusions: This study indicates an effect of sildenafil on DU healing in patients with SSc and an improvement of RP and associated symptoms that should be validated in controlled studies.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)