Tadalafil for veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—pulmonary hypertension: A multicenter, placebo-controlled randomized trial

Bradley A. Maron, Gaurav Choudhary, Rebekah L. Goldstein, Eric Garshick, Matthew Jankowich, Troo J.S. Tucker, Kathleen A. LaCerda, Brack Hattler, Edward C. Dempsey, Ruxana T. Sadikot, Shelley Shapiro, Sharon I. Rounds, Ronald H. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Treating Veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease complicated by pulmonary hypertension (COPD-PH) using phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitor pharmacotherapy is common, but efficacy data are lacking. To address this further, patients with COPD-PH from five Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals were randomized (1∶1) to receive placebo or oral tadalafil (40 mg/day) for 12 months. The primary endpoint was changed from baseline in 6-min walk distance at 12 months. Secondary endpoints included change from baseline in pulmonary vascular resistance, mean pulmonary artery pressure, and symptom burden by the University of California San Diego shortness of breath questionnaire scale at 6 months. A total of 42 subjects (all male; 68 ± 7.6 years old) were randomized to placebo (N = 14) or tadalafil (N = 28). The group imbalance was related to under-enrollment. Compared to placebo, no significant difference was observed in the tadalafil group for change from the primary endpoint or change in mean pulmonary artery pressure or pulmonary vascular resistance from baseline at 6 months. A clinically meaningful improvement was observed in the secondary endpoint of shortness of breath questionnaire score in the tadalafil versus placebo group at 6 months. There was no significant difference in major adverse events between treatment groups, and tadalafil was well tolerated overall. For Veterans with COPD-PH enrolled in this study, once-daily treatment with tadalafil did not improve 6-min walk distance or cardiopulmonary hemodynamics although a decrease in shortness of breath was observed. Under-enrollment and imbalanced randomization confound interpreting conclusions from this clinical trial and limit the generalization of our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12043
JournalPulmonary Circulation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • exercise capacity
  • lung disease
  • pulmonary vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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