Totally Implantable IV Treprostinil Therapy in Pulmonary Hypertension Assessment of the Implantation Procedure

Aaron B. Waxman, Hugh T. McElderry, Mardi Gomberg-Maitland, Martin C. Burke, Edgar L. Ross, Malcolm M. Bersohn, Sanjog S. Pangarkar, James H. Tarver, Diane L. Zwicke, Jeremy P. Feldman, Murali M. Chakinala, Robert P. Frantz, Geoffrey B. Thompson, Fernando Torres, Richard L. Rauck, Kathy Clagg, Louise Durst, Pei Li, Marty Morris, Kara L. SouthallLeigh Peterson, Robert C. Bourge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background Prostacyclins improve symptoms and survival in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In response to risks associated with external delivery systems, an implantable IV infusion system was developed. A multicenter, prospective, single-arm, clinical trial (DelIVery for PAH) was conducted to evaluate this system for treprostinil in PAH. This analysis describes the findings related to the implant procedure. Methods Patients (N = 64) with PAH (World Health Organization group 1) receiving stable IV treprostinil were enrolled. Patients were transitioned to a temporary peripheral IV infusion catheter prior to the procedure. System implantation was performed at 10 centers under general anesthesia or deep IV sedation by clinicians from various specialties. Central venous access was via the cephalic, subclavian, jugular, or axillary vein. Using an introducer and fluoroscopic guidance, the distal tip of the infusion catheter was placed at the superior caval-atrial junction. The catheter was tunneled from the venous access site to an abdominal subcutaneous pocket, where the pump was placed. Results Of the 64 patients enrolled, four exited prior to implantation. All 60 implant procedures were successful. At baseline, all patients were receiving treprostinil via an external pump at a mean dose of 71.4 ± 27.8 ng/kg/min (range: 22-142 ng/kg/min). The implant averaged 102 ± 32 min (range: 47-184 min). Clinically significant implant procedure-related complications included one pneumothorax, two infections, and one episode of atrial fibrillation. There were three postimplantation catheter dislocations in two patients. Common implant-related events that were not complications included implant site pain (83%) and bruising (17%). Conclusions The procedure for inserting a fully implantable system for treprostinil was successfully performed, with few complications. Trial Registry; No.: NCT01321073; URL:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1128-1134
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • implantable
  • programmable
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • pump
  • treprostinil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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