Effect of pioglitazone and ramipril on biomarkers of low-grade inflammation and vascular function in nondiabetic patients with increased cardiovascular risk and an activated inflammation: results from the PIOace study.

First published in Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology on 2011 Jul.
J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2011 Jul 1;5(4):989-98

Authors: Pfützner A, Hanefeld M, Dekordi LA, Müller J, Kleine I, Fuchs W, Forst T



This study investigated the effects of pioglitazone (PIO), ramipril (RAM), or their combination (PIRA) on low-grade inflammation in nondiabetic hypertensive patients with increased cardiovascular risk.

Methods and results

Patients enrolled in this placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, parallel trial (72 male, 77 female, aged 60 ± 9 years, body mass index 30.4 ± 4.7 kg/m(2), duration of hypertension 9 ± 8 years) were treated with either 30/45 mg PIO (dose titration), 2.5/5 mg RAM, or their combination for 12 weeks. A reduction in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was observed with PIO (-0.89 ± 1.98 mg/liter; -25%) and PIRA (-0.49 ± 2.11 mg/liter; -16%), while an increase was seen with RAM (0.58 ± 2.13 mg/liter; +20%, p < .05 vs PIO and PIRA). The 24-hour blood pressure profile showed a small increase with both monotherapies but a decrease with PIRA (p < .05 vs PIO). Improvements in biomarkers of chronic systemic inflammation and insulin resistance (IR) were observed in the PIO and PIRA arms only [PIO/RAM/PIRA: homeostasis model of assessment of IR: -0.78 ± 1.39 (-29%)/0.15 ± 1.03 (+5%)/ -1.44 ± 2.83 (-40%); adiponectin: 8.51 ± 5.91 (+104%)/ 0.09 ± 2.63 (+1%)/ 8.86 ± 6.37 mg/liter (+107%); matrix metallo-proteinase-9: -48 ± 127 (-12%)/-1 ± 224 (0%)/-60 ± 210 ng/ml (-13%), p < .05 for RAM vs PIO or PIRA in all cases].


Our 3-month study in nondiabetic hypertensive patients showed a decrease in biomarkers of IR and chronic systemic inflammation with the PIO monotherapy and the PIRA combination only, which may help to explain some findings in other cardiovascular outcome trials.

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