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J Endocrinol Invest. 2013 Sep;36(8):606-16. doi: 10.3275/8895. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Pioglitazone Randomised Italian Study on Metabolic Syndrome (PRISMA): effect of pioglitazone with metformin on HDL-C levels in Type 2 diabetic patients.

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Diabetes and Metabolic Disease Unit, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Department, IRCCS Multimedica, Sesto San Giovanni, Milan. Italy.



Previous evidence indicates that pioglitazone may improve dyslipidemia in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).


The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of either pioglitazone or placebo with metformin on levels of serum HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) in patients with T2DM. A secondary objective evaluated changes in metabolic syndrome (MS)-specific parameters.


This multicenter, double-blind, randomized study was performed in patients with T2DM treated with metformin and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels between 6-8%, central obesity and reduced HDL-C. MS was evaluated from global changes in parameter values and expressed as a single factorial score following multivariate analysis of each parameter. 213 patients (110 in the pioglitazone group and 103 in the placebo group) were available for intention-to-treat analysis.


Pioglitazone-treated patients showed a significant increase in HDL-C compared to placebo group (6.3 mg/dl vs 3.0 mg/dl; p<0.01) in addition to a greater reduction in the extent of MS (-13.2 vs -4.9; p=0.0055). Upon study completion, patients treated with pioglitazone had lower levels of HbA1c (6.41±0.65 vs 6.96±0.74%; p<0.001) and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (2.88±1.95 vs 4.68±3.63; p=0.013) and a reduction of the atherogenic LDL subfraction (pattern B) (-5.7%).


The beneficial effects observed in pioglitazone-treated patients in the present study, (i.e. the increase in HDL-C and the reduction of insulin resistance and atherogenic LDL subfractions), support findings from the PROactive trial, where pioglitazone showed pleiotropic effects and reduced death, fatal myocardial infarction (MI) and non-fatal MI in T2DM patients with MS. Furthermore, medication used in this study showed good tolerability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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