Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 5–15

The Role of n-3 PUFAs in Preventing the Arrhythmic Risk in Patients with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Authors

  • Savina Nodari
    • Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Experimental and Applied MedicineUniversity of Brescia
    • Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Experimental and Applied MedicineUniversity of Brescia
  • Giuseppe Milesi
    • Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Experimental and Applied MedicineUniversity of Brescia
  • Alessandra Manerba
    • Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Experimental and Applied MedicineUniversity of Brescia
  • Bruno Mario Cesana
    • Section of Medical Statistics and Biometry, Department of Biomedical Sciences and BiotechnologiesUniversity of Brescia
  • Mihai Gheorghiade
    • Division of Cardiology, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern University
  • Livio Dei Cas
    • Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Experimental and Applied MedicineUniversity of Brescia
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10557-008-6142-7

Cite this article as:
Nodari, S., Metra, M., Milesi, G. et al. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther (2009) 23: 5. doi:10.1007/s10557-008-6142-7

Abstract

Background

N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) intake is associated with a reduction in sudden cardiac death in patients with ischemic heart disease. Their effects in patients with heart failure caused by idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC) are unknown.

Methods

We compared with placebo the effects of n-3 PUFAs administration in 44 patients with IDC and with frequent or repetitive ventricular arrhythmias at Holter monitoring using a randomized, double-blind design. Arrhythmic risk was assessed by microvolt T-wave analysis (MTWA), signal averaged ECG (SAECG), Holter monitoring, power spectral analysis of heart rate (HR) variability, catecholamine and cytokine plasma levels, at baseline and after 6 months.

Results

At MTWA, 7/12 patients (58%) initially positive became negative after n-3 PUFAs while one patient became positive after placebo (p = 0.019). N-3 PUFAs administration was also associated to normalization of SAECG (11/15 patients, p < 0.0015), decrease in non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT) episodes (p = 0.0002) and NSVT HR (p = 0.0003), improvement in HR variability and decrease in catecholamine and cytokine plasma levels. The ratio of plasma n-6 PUFAs to n-3 PUFAs decreased from 12.01 to 3.48 after n-3 PUFAs.

Conclusions

N-3 PUFAs administration is associated with favorable effects on parameters related to arrhythmic risk in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. These results are consistent with antiarrhythmic activity independent from their antiischemic effects.

Key words

Ventricular arrhythmiasHeart failuren-3 PUFAs

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008