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Circulation. 2000 May 9;101(18):2160-4.

Oral L-arginine in patients with coronary artery disease on medical management.

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  • 1Cardiology, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1650, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Vascular nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability is reduced in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). We investigated whether oral L-arginine, the substrate for NO synthesis, improves homeostatic functions of the vascular endothelium in patients maintained on appropriate medical therapy and thus might be useful as adjunctive therapy.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Thirty CAD patients (29 men; age, 67+/-8 years) on appropriate medical management were randomly assigned to L-arginine (9 g) or placebo daily for 1 month, with crossover to the alternate therapy after 1 month off therapy, in a double-blind study. Nitrogen oxides in serum (as an index of endothelial NO release), flow-mediated brachial artery dilation (as an index of vascular NO bioactivity), and serum cell adhesion molecules (as an index of NO-regulated markers of inflammation) were measured at the end of each treatment period. L-Arginine significantly increased arginine levels in plasma (130+/-53 versus 70+/-17 micromol/L, P<0.001) compared with placebo. However, there was no effect of L-arginine on nitrogen oxides (19.3+/-7.9 versus 18. 6+/-6.7 micromol/L, P=0.546), on flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery (11.9+/-6.3% versus 11.4+/-7.9%, P=0.742), or on the cell adhesion molecules E-selectin (47.8+/-15.2 versus 47.2+/-14.4 ng/mL, P=0.601), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (250+/-57 versus 249+/-57 ng/mL, P=0.862), and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (567+/-124 versus 574+/-135 ng/mL, P=0.473).

CONCLUSIONS:

Oral L-arginine therapy does not improve NO bioavailability in CAD patients on appropriate medical management and thus may not benefit this group of patients.

PMID:
10801756
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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