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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2002 December;50(6):683-90


language: Italian

Treatment of severe intermittent claudication: ORACLE-PGE1 short term study. A randomised 40-week study. Evaluation of efficacy and costs

Cesarone M. R., Belcaro G., Nicolaides A. N., Griffin M., Geroulakos G., Ramaswami G., Cazaubon M., Barsotti A., Vasdekis S., Christopoulos D., Agus G., Bavera P., Mondani P., Ippolito E., Flenda F.


Background. The efficacy and cost of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) in severe intermittent claudication was studied comparing a long-term protocol (LTP) with a short-term protocol (STP) in a randomised 40-week study.
Methods. Phase 1 was a 2-week run-in phase (no treatment) for both protocols. In LTP, phase 2 was the main treatment phase. Treatment was performed with 2-hour infusions (60 µg PGE1, 5 days each week for 4 weeks. In phase 3 (4-week interval period), PGE1 was administered twice a week (same dosage). In phase 4 (40 weeks), no PGE1 were used. In STP, phase 2 treatment was performed in two days by a 2-hour infusion (60 µg PGE1 twice a day in 2 days). The same cycle was repeated every 4 weeks. A treadmill test was performed at inclusion, at the beginning of each phase and at the end of weeks 12, 16, 20 32 and 40. A progressive training plan (walking) and reduction in risk factors plan was used in both groups.
Results. Out of the 1276 included patients 1165 completed the study (606 in LTP group; 559 in the STP). Drop-outs were 111. The two groups were comparable in distribution, risk factors and smoking. Intention-to-treat analysis indicated an increase in pain free walking distance (PFWD). The absolute and percent increase in pain-free walking distance (PFWD) was comparable in both LTP and STP groups with a significative increase in TWD at 4 weeks. At 20 and 40 weeks increase was up to 219% in the LTP and 460% in the STP group (p<0.02). Comparable results concerning PFWD were obtained in the two groups. Both treatments were well tolerated. No side effect was observed. Local effects were observed in 8.5% of the treated subjects in the LTP and 4% in the STP. The average cost of the LTP protocol was 8786 Euro. For STP the costs was 946 (10.8% of LTP). For both protocols the cost of the infusion was 24% of the total for the LTP and 35% in the STP. Therefore 75% of the cost is not drug-related.
Conclusions. In conclusion between-group-analysis favours STP considering walking distance and costs. Results indicate good efficacy and tolerability of PGE1 treatment particularly STP.

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