Steve Parcell, ND
Valsartan is a common blood pressure lowering agent that I like for it beneficail effect aging. Now there is new data on Valsartan and plaque reversal.
In the EFFERVESCENT trial researchers hypothesized that the angiotensin receptor blocker valsartan (Diovan, Novartis) would reduce carotid artery wall thickness and inhibit atherosclerotic plaque progression.
The EFFERVESCENT trial included 120 participants with carotid intima-media thickness >0.65 mm who were randomly assigned valsartan 320 mg/day titrated (n=80) or placebo (n=40). Each participant underwent carotid MRI at baseline, 12 months and 24 months. At 24 months, 49 participants from the valsartan group and 27 from the placebo group could be analyzed.
At 24 months, the valsartan group exhibited a decrease in mean carotid bulb vessel wall area (P=.008), whereas it was unchanged in the placebo group (P=.28); the valsartan group had a significantly greater change than the placebo group (P=.01). Similarly, mean circumferential wall thickness of the carotid bulb was decreased in the valsartan group at 24 months (P=.0035) vs. an insignificant change in the placebo group (P=.34); the valsartan group had a significantly greater change than the placebo group (P=.011).
Maximum wall thickness of the carotid bulb increased with placebo at 24 months (P=.001) compared with an insignificant change in the valsartan group (P=.61); the placebo group had a significantly greater change than the valsartan group (P=.0008).
Mean plaque thickness decreased in the valsartan group at 24 months (P=.014) but was unchanged with placebo (P=.16); the valsartan group had a significantly greater change than the placebo group (P=.011).
“Some of the implications of our study, potentially, are that in subjects with carotid wall thickening and mild atherosclerosis, AT1 receptor blockade does impede progression of disease and that these effects may translate into long-term reduction of cardiovascular events in these individuals with subclinical atherosclerosis.” Arshed A. Quyyumi, MD, of Emory University School of Medicine, said at the presentation. “This will require long-term outcome studies, which may be warranted.”