Modulation of arterial reactivity using amlodipine and atorvastatin measured by ultrasound examination (MARGAUX)
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of the calcium channel blocker amlodipine on endothelial function in normotensive patients with coronary disease taking concomitant atorvastatin therapy. METHODS AND RESULTS: Atorvastatin was titrated (10-80 mg/day) to maintain LDL-C<2.5 mmol/L and patients were randomized to receive amlodipine (5-10mg/day, n=64) or placebo (n=70) for 12 months. Brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) was assessed using vascular ultrasound. Inflammatory markers were also measured. At 12 months there was a significant decrease in mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (4.4-2.1 mmol/L, P<0.0001), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) (3.8-2.3mg/L, P<0.0001) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) (710-665 ng/mL, P<0.0001) for all patients, compared with baseline. Amlodipine was associated with a mean blood pressure reduction of 8/3 mm Hg (P<0.0001) whereas patients on placebo had no significant change. In the atorvastatin-placebo group, mean FMD increased (7.3-9.5%, P<0.05) with no change in nitroglycerin-mediated dilation. No further benefit on FMD or inflammatory markers was observed with the addition of amlodipine. CONCLUSIONS: Intensive reduction of LDL-C with atorvastatin improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation and reduces markers of inflammation in patients with coronary disease. Amlodipine was not associated with a significant additional benefit on these variables.
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