Original Paper

Clinical Research in Cardiology

, Volume 99, Issue 12, pp 787-794

First online:

Telmisartan improves absolute walking distance and endothelial function in patients with peripheral artery disease

  • A. R. ZanklAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Heidelberg Email author 
  • , B. IvandicAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Heidelberg
  • , M. AndrassyAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Heidelberg
  • , H. C. VolzAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Heidelberg
  • , U. KrumsdorfAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Heidelberg
  • , E. BlessingAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Heidelberg
  • , H. A. KatusAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Heidelberg
  • , C. P. TiefenbacherAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Heidelberg

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Abstract

Background

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is associated with high cardiovascular mortality and a poor quality of life. The AT1-receptor blocker telmisartan has been shown to have pleiotropic effects and it may also improve endothelial function. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of telmisartan on absolute walking distance (WD) and endothelial function in patients with PAD.

Methods

In a single centre, single-blinded, prospective study, 36 patients with PAD at stage Fontaine II or higher and mild to moderate arterial hypertension were treated with telmisartan 40/80 mg once daily or placebo for 12 months. Primary endpoint was the improvement of the absolute treadmill WD. Flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), ankle-brachial index (ABI) and disease-related quality of life (DRQL) were examined as well.

Results

After 12 months, maximum WD increased by 26% in the telmisartan group (P < 0.001). However, in the placebo group it was comparable to baseline. FMD rose by 40% in the telmisartan group while it deteriorated in the placebo group (P < 0.001). IMT and ABI were comparable in both groups at baseline and did not change considerably after 12 months. In non-diabetic patients (72.2%), the ABI did not change in the placebo group, whereas it increased by 11% in the telmisartan group (P < 0.001). While the DRQL remained stable in the telmisartan group, placebo treatment was associated with a marked deterioration (P < 0.01).

Conclusion

Telmisartan improves WD and endothelial function, the ABI in non-diabetic patients and it may prevent further loss of quality of life in patients with advanced PAD.

Keywords

Endothelial dysfunction Peripheral artery disease Angiotensin receptor blockade Atherosclerosis