Safe new therapy for genetic heart disease

Dec 30, 2008

A new clinical trial suggests that long-term use of candesartan, a drug currently used to treat hypertension, may significantly reduce the symptoms of genetic heart disease. The related report by Penicka et al, "The effects of candesartan on left ventricular hypertrophy and function in non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: a pilot, randomized study," appears in the January issue of The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, is a genetic heart disease where the heart muscle is thickened, especially in the left ventricle. Although people with HCM usually display mild symptoms or are completely asymptomatic, up to 1% of affected people succumb to sudden cardiac death (SCD), often with no previous signs of illness. HCM can be caused by mutations in a number of different genes, and different gene mutations may result in more or less severe symptoms.

Researchers lead by Dr. Jiri Krupicka of Na Homolce Hospital, Prague conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study on the long-term administration of candesartan in patients with HCM. Dr. Krupicka's group found that candesartan reduced the symptoms of HCM, including decreasing the thickening of the left ventricle. This effect was found to be dependent on the underlying gene mutations in each patient. They did not observe any adverse effects of candesartan use over the course of their study.

These data suggest that effectiveness of angiotensin II receptor blockers, such as candesartan, on HCM may vary depending on the nature of the causative mutation and that the treatment protocol, therefore, should be customized to individual patients. Future studies in Dr. Penicka's group will extend this pilot trial to more patients to confirm the current findings and to identify the mechanism by which candesartan improves left ventricle thickening.

Paper: Penicka M, Gregor P, Kerekes R, Marek D, Curila K, Krupicka J: The effects of candesartan on left ventricular hypertrophy and function in non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: a pilot, randomized study. J Mol Diagn 2009 11:35-41

Source: American Journal of Pathology

Explore further: Hearing quality restored with bionic ear technology used for gene therapy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers link gene mutations to Ebstein's anomaly

Feb 16, 2011

Ebstein's anomaly is a rare congenital valvular heart disease. Now, in patients with this disease, researchers of the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the University of Newcastle, UK and the Max Delbrück ...

Finding genes that control mind and behavior

Nov 01, 2010

The highly sophisticated abilities of humans, such as memory, learning, cognition and thought, are achieved in the brain as a result of dramatic evolutionary development. Personality, preference, behavioral ...

Recommended for you

LED exposure is not harmful to human dermal fibroblasts

20 hours ago

There was a time when no one thought about light bulbs—one blew, you screwed another one in. Nowadays, it's more complicated, as energy efficiency concerns have given rise to a slew of options, including ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

The federal government wants to prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Rising role seen for health education specialists

(HealthDay)—A health education specialist can help family practices implement quality improvement projects with limited additional financial resources, according to an article published in the March/April ...

When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

Colorful church windows, beads on a necklace and many of our favorite plastics share something in common—they all belong to a state of matter known as glasses. School children learn the difference between ...

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.

SK Hynix posts Q1 surge in net profit

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said Thursday its first-quarter net profit surged nearly 350 percent from the previous year on a spike in sales of PC memory chips.