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Eur Heart J. 1999 Jan;20(2):121-7.

Treatment with the antibiotic roxithromycin in patients with acute non-Q-wave coronary syndromes. The final report of the ROXIS Study.

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  • 1Favaloro Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Mounting evidence suggests infection, specifically Chlamydia pneumoniae, plays a role in atherosclerosis. We tested whether antibiotic treatment with the macrolide roxithromycin improves clinical outcome in patients with acute non-Q-wave coronary syndromes. Preliminary reports revealed a reduction in events in the roxithromycin group at 30 days. We now report the long-term follow-up results.


Sixty-four per cent of the initial 202 patients with unstable angina who were randomly assigned to receive either roxithromycin or placebo for 30 days completed the active treatment period. At day 30, the primary triple and double end-point rates were 9% and 4% in the placebo group compared to 2% and 0% in the roxithromycin group (unadjusted P = 0.032 and 0.058, respectively). The secondary triple and double end-point rates were again higher in the placebo group at day 90 (12.5% and 6.25% vs 4.37% and 0%, unadjusted P = 0.065 and 0.029, respectively), and at day 180 (14.6% and 7.29% vs 8.69% and 2.17%, unadjusted P = 0.259 and 0.17, respectively). Anti-C, pneumoniae IgG titres were unchanged in both groups while C-reactive protein levels decreased in both strategies, with a more significant decrease in the roxithromycin arm (P = 0.03). Elevated C-reactive protein levels predicted the need for revascularization.


In this pilot trial, roxithromycin appears to extend the clinical benefit of preventing death and re-infarction for at least 6 months after initial treatment.

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