Background-: Endothelin (ET-1) is one of the most potent vasoconstrictors and plays a seminal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that long-term treatment with an endothelin-A (ETA) receptor antagonist improves coronary endothelial function in patients with early coronary atherosclerosis. Methods and results-: Forty-seven patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors, nonobstructive coronary artery disease, and coronary endothelial dysfunction were randomized in a double-blind manner to either the ETA receptor antagonist atrasentan (10 mg) or placebo for 6 months. Coronary endothelium-dependent vasodilation was examined by infusing acetylcholine (10-6 to 10-4 mol/L) in the left anterior descending coronary artery. NG-monomethyl-L-arginine was administered to a subgroup of patients. Endothelium-independent coronary flow reserve was examined by use of intracoronary adenosine and nitroglycerin. Baseline characteristics and incidence of adverse effects were similar between the 2 groups. There was a significant improvement in percent change of coronary blood flow in response to acetylcholine at 6 months from baseline in the atrasentan group compared with the placebo group (39.67%, 95% confidence interval 23.23% to 68.21%, versus-2.22%, 95% confidence interval-27.37% to 15.28%; P<0.001). No significant difference in the percent change of coronary artery diameter or change in coronary flow reserve was demonstrated. Coronary blood flow, coronary artery diameter, and the effect of N-monomethyl-l-arginine were similar between the groups at baseline and at 6 months. Conclusions-: This study demonstrates that 6-month treatment with atrasentan improves coronary microvascular endothelial function and supports the role of the endogenous endothelin system in the regulation of endothelial function in early atherosclerosis in humans.
- blood flow
- coronary disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)