High-Dose Thiamine Supplementation in Older Patients With Heart Failure: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial (THIAMINE-HF) Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background

    Thiamine supplementation may improve cardiac function in older adults with heart failure (HF). Our objectives were to determine the following: (i) the feasibility of conducting a large trial of thiamine supplementation in HF; and (ii) the effects of thiamine on clinical outcomes.


    We conducted a double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled 2-period crossover feasibility study from June 2018 to April 2021. Adults aged ≥ 60 years with symptomatic HF and reduced ejection fraction (≤ 45%) were included. Participants were randomized to thiamine mononitrate 500 mg, or placebo, for 90 days and were switched to the opposite treatment for 90 days after a 6-week washout period. The primary feasibility outcome was recruitment of 24 participants in 11 months.


    We screened 330 patients over 21 months to recruit 24 patients. Participants' mean age was 73.4 years. The targets for refusal rate, retention rate, and adherence rate were met. Nonsignificant improvements occurred in left ventricular ejection fraction and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) level with thiamine. A total of 13 serious adverse events occurred in 7 patients; none were related to the study drug.


    Although we did not reach our recruitment target, we found high-dose thiamine supplementation to be well tolerated, with potential improvements in biomarker outcomes. A larger trial of thiamine supplementation is warranted.

publication date

  • June 2022