Exogenous melatonin has been reported to be beneficial in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in animal models. Multiple mechanisms are involved, with melatonin exerting anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as inducing vasodilation and cardio-protection. However, endogenous levels of melatonin in treatment-naïve patients with PH and their clinical significance are still unknown. Plasma levels of endogenous melatonin were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in PH patients (n=64, 43 pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and 21 chronic thromboembolic PH (CTEPH)) and healthy controls (n = 111). Melatonin levels were higher in PH, PAH, and CTEPH patients when compared with controls (Median 118.7 (IQR 108.2–139.9), 118.9 (109.3–147.7), 118.3 (106.8–130.1) versus 108.0 (102.3–115.2) pM, respectively, p all <0.001). The mortality was 26% (11/43) in the PAH subgroup during a long-term follow-up of 42 (IQR: 32–58) months. Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that, in the PAH subgroup, patients with melatonin levels in the 1st quartile (<109.3 pM) had a worse survival than those in quartile 2–4 (Mean survival times were 46 (95% CI: 30–65) versus 68 (58–77) months, Log-rank, p = 0.026) with an increased hazard ratio of 3.5 (95% CI: 1.1–11.6, p = 0.038). Endogenous melatonin was increased in treatment-naïve patients with PH, and lower levels of melatonin were associated with worse long-term survival in patient with PAH.

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doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051248, hdl.handle.net/1765/128391
Journal of Clinical Medicine
Department of Clinical Chemistry

Cai, Z.Y., Klein, T, Geenen, L.W., Tu, L., Tian, S.Y., van den Bosch, A.E, … Merkus, D. (2020). Lower Plasma Melatonin Levels Predict Worse Long-Term Survival in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(5). doi:10.3390/jcm9051248