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Circulation. 1999 Mar 30;99(12):1540-7.

Randomized secondary prevention trial of azithromycin in patients with coronary artery disease and serological evidence for Chlamydia pneumoniae infection: The Azithromycin in Coronary Artery Disease: Elimination of Myocardial Infection with Chlamydia (ACADEMIC) study.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Utah, LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah 84143, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chlamydia pneumoniae commonly causes respiratory infection, is vasotropic, causes atherosclerosis in animal models, and has been found in human atheromas. Whether it plays a causal role in clinical coronary artery disease (CAD) and is amenable to antibiotic therapy is uncertain.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

CAD patients (n=302) who had a seropositive reaction to C pneumoniae (IgG titers >/=1:16) were randomized to receive placebo or azithromycin, 500 mg/d for 3 days, then 500 mg/wk for 3 months. Circulating markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein [CRP], interleukin [IL]-1, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-alpha), C pneumoniae antibody titers, and cardiovascular events were assessed at 3 and 6 months. Treatment groups were balanced, with age averaging 64 (SD=10) years; 89% of the patients were male. Azithromycin reduced a global rank sum score of the 4 inflammatory markers at 6 (but not 3) months (P=0. 011) as well as the mean global rank sum change score: 531 (SD=201) for active drug and 587 (SD=190) for placebo (P=0.027). Specifically, change-score ranks were significantly lower for CRP (P=0.011) and IL-6 (P=0.043). Antibody titers were unchanged, and number of clinical cardiovascular events at 6 months did not differ by therapy (9 for active drug, 7 for placebo). Azithromycin decreased infections requiring antibiotics (1 versus 12 at 3 months, P=0.002) but caused more mild, primarily gastrointestinal, adverse effects (36 versus 17, P=0.003).

CONCLUSIONS:

In CAD patients positive for C pneumoniae antibodies, global tests of 4 markers of inflammation improved at 6 months with azithromycin. However, unlike another smaller study, no differences in antibody titers and clinical events were observed. Longer-term and larger studies of antichlamydial therapy are indicated.

PMID:
10096928
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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