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Circulation. 1992 Mar;85(3):950-6.

Double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of fish oil supplements in prevention of recurrence of stenosis after coronary angioplasty.

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Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec City, Ste-Foy, Canada.



Previous studies suggest that recurrence of coronary stenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) might be prevented with dietary supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate this hypothesis. In addition, the relation between usual dietary consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and restenosis was assessed.


A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial was conducted in which 205 patients undergoing a first PTCA received 15 capsules per day containing 1 g of either fish oil (2.7 g/day of eicosapentaenoic acid, 1.8 g/day of docosahexaenoic acid) or olive oil. The treatment was started 3 weeks before PTCA and continued for 6 months thereafter. Dietary intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaire. At 6 months after PTCA, patients underwent a control angiography. All angiographic lesions were measured by quantitative computer analysis. Four criteria were used to define restenosis. Restenosis occurred less often in the fish oil group (22.0-35.6% depending on the definition) than in the control group (40.0-53.3%). After controlling for other risk factors of restenosis, the association of fish oil supplementation with a lower frequency of restenosis was statistically significant (p = 0.03) for three of four definitions. After adjustment, a dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids of more than 0.15 g/day was also associated with a lower frequency of restenosis (p less than or equal to 0.03).


This trial documented the protective effect of fish oil supplements on the recurrence of coronary stenosis 6 months after PTCA. The study results suggest that a dietary intervention could be useful in preventing restenosis.

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