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J Hypertens. 2019 Jul 1. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000002189. [Epub ahead of print]

Allopurinol treatment adversely impacts left ventricular mass regression in patients with well-controlled hypertension.

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Division of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Dundee.
Department of Clinical Radiology.
MEMO and Hypertension Research Centre, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK.
Population Health Sciences Division.



Previous studies have demonstrated that high-dose allopurinol is able to regress left ventricular (LV) mass in cohorts with established cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to assess whether treatment with high-dose allopurinol would regress LV mass in a cohort with essential hypertension, LV hypertrophy and well-controlled blood pressure but without established cardiovascular disease.


We conducted a mechanistic proof-of-concept randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of allopurinol (600 mg/day) versus placebo on LV mass regression. Duration of treatment was 12 months. LV mass regression was assessed by Cardiac Magnetic Resonance. Secondary outcomes were changes in endothelial function (flow-mediated dilatation), arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity) and biomarkers of oxidative stress.


Seventy-two patients were randomized into the trial. Mean baseline urate was 362.2 ± 96.7 μmol/l. Despite good blood pressure control, LV mass regression was significantly reduced in the allopurinol cohort compared with placebo (LV mass -0.37 ± 6.08 versus -3.75 ± 3.89 g; P = 0.012). Oxidative stress markers (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) were significantly higher in the allopurinol group versus placebo (0.26 ± 0.85 versus -0.34 ± 0.83 μmol/l; P = 0.007). Other markers of vascular function were not significantly different between the two groups.


Treatment with high-dose allopurinol in normouricemic controlled hypertensive patients and LV hypertrophy is detrimental. It results in reduced LV mass regression and increased oxidative stress over a 12-month period. This may be because of an adverse impact on redox balance. Cohort selection for future cardiovascular trials with allopurinol is crucial.

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