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Sansum Physician Studies Viagra’s Benefits for Lung Disease

Dr. David Zisman's research is featured in the New England Journal of Medicine

Sansum Clinic Dr. David Zisman’s article “A Controlled Trial of Sildenafil in Advanced Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis” in the recent New England Journal of Medicine online issue showed that sildenafil — found in Viagra — could lead to reduced shortness of breath and improved quality of life for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Dr. David Zisman
Dr. David Zisman

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease characterized by scarring or thickening of the lungs, with no known cause and no proven therapies to increase life expectancy or improve quality of life.

For patients with this disease, lungs can’t take in sufficient oxygen or expel sufficient carbon dioxide to meet the needs of the cells of the body. Death within five years of the onset of symptoms is characteristic.

The study, called the Sildenafil Trial of Exercise Performance in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (STEP-IPF), suggested that sildenafil could lead to reduced shortness of breath and improved quality of life for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis by widening blood vessels in lung tissue providing for better oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange.

The study was sponsored by the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Clinical Research Network of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the findings create a significant basis for further medical research.

“To be the lead author of a study published in the most prestigious medical journal in the world is something few leaders in the health-care field achieve,” said Dr. Kurt Ransohoff, CEO, president and medical director of Sansum Clinic. “Dr. Zisman raises the bar for pulmonary care in our community, and it is an honor to have him as a Sansum Clinic physician.”

Click here to view the full NEJM article.

Zisman’s clinical research has included numerous studies of fibrotic lung diseases, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and subcutaneous Interferon, among other topics. A renowned expert in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, he has lectured nationally and internationally on this and related topics more than 60 times during the past decade. He joined Sansum Clinic’s Department of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine in 2009.

— Jill Fonte is the marketing director for the Sansum Clinic.

 

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