Safety of sildenafil in premature infants with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (SILDI-SAFE): a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, sequential dose-escalating, double-masked, safety study.
Pulmonary hypertension is a deadly complication of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, the most common pulmonary morbidity of prematurity. Despite these catastrophic consequences, no evidence-based therapies are available for the prevention of pulmonary hypertension in this population. Sildenafil is a potent pulmonary vasodilator approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension in adults. Preclinical models suggest a beneficial effect of sildenafil on premature lungs through improved alveolarization and preserved vascular development. Sildenafil may therefore prevent the development of pulmonary hypertension associated with lung disease of prematurity by reducing pulmonary vascular remodeling and lowering pulmonary vascular resistance; however, clinical trial evidence is needed. The present study, supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, will generate safety, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary effectiveness data on sildenafil in a population of premature infants with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia at risk for pulmonary hypertension.We have designed a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, sequential dose-escalating, double-masked, safety trial of sildenafil in premature infants with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia. We will randomize 120 premature infants