Drug may reduce coronary artery plaque

October 13th, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 13 (IANS) Olmesartan, a drug used in treating high blood pressure, may play a role in reducing coronary plaque, according to the latest research.Coronary arteries supply oxygen rich blood to the heart. But the supply can be restricted when plaque starts building up within them.

The trial involved 247 angina patients with native coronary artery lesions. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 20-40 mg/day of olmesartan or control, and treated with a combination of beta and calcium channel blockers and statins.

Serial Intravenous Ultrasound (IVUS) examinations were performed to assess the amount of coronary plaque before and 14 months after the start of treatment, according to a release of Cardiovascular Research Foundation .

At the start of the trial, patient characteristics and all IVUS measurements were identical between the two groups. However, after 14 months of treatment, IVUS showed significant decreases in measurements of plaque volume in the olmesartan group, despite similar blood pressure readings.

“Management of plaque is a key front in the war on sudden heart attack,” said Atsushi Hirohata, of the Sakakibara Heart Institute of Okayama, Japan and co-author of the study.

“These results suggest a positive role in potential plaque regression through the administration of olmesartan, an angiotension-II receptor blocking agent, for patients with stable angina pectoris.”

These findings were presented at the 20th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium.

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