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Aliskiren on Retinal Vasculature Treatment Study (ARTS)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01318395
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 18, 2011
Last Update Posted : January 12, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Roland E. Schmieder, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg Medical School

Brief Summary:

Hypertension affects approximately one fourth of the world population and therefore contributes substantially to the worldwide burden of cardiovascular (CV) disease and end-organ damage.

Changes in small artery structure characterized by an increased wall-to-lumen ratio (WLR) are characteristic feature of target organ damage in hypertension. Of clinical importance, structural arteries of small subcutaneous arteries have been shown to be of prognostic significance, with adverse prognosis in subjects with higher WLR. However, the assessment of arteriolar structure from biopsies of subcutaneous tissue is invasive and impractical in clinical practice. A new approach focuses on retinal arteriolar structural parameters by using scanning laser Doppler flowmetry (SLDF) with automatic full-field perfusion imaging analyses (9). This approach allows the non-invasive assessment of both the outer diameter (OD) and inner diameter (ID) of retinal arterioles in vivo and, thus, analyses vascular remodeling of retinal arterioles by calculating WLR = (OD - ID) / ID).

A crucial role in the efforts of prevention of end-organ damage plays the renin angiotensin system (RAS). The increased mechanical strain on the vasculature at a higher BP can cause injury to the endothelial wall. Activation of the RAS increases BP and stimulates a local inflammatory response to repair the injury. Long-term or repeated response to injury leads to endothelial dysfunction and microvascular damage, and hence end-organ damage.

Combining RAS inhibitors may provide greater end-organ protection than use of either class alone. However, ONTARGET has failed to show superiority of the dual RAS blockade (ACE-I and ARB) in patients at high cardiovascular risk. The combination of ARBs and direct renin inhibitors (DRIs) emerged as the only available, valid and innovative option for blocking the RAS at two different sites (sequential blockade). Indeed, AVOID study and ALLAY study demonstrated that the DRI aliskiren has additional and to some extent blood pressure independent effects on albuminuria and left ventricular hypertrophy, both signs of subclinical organ damage in hypertension, respectively.

However, no data are available with respect to the effects of ARBs and DRIs on vascular properties in the short and long term To close this gab we focus in this study on vascular structural and functional changes since vascular adaptation to high blood pressure occurs in the early phase of hypertensive disease.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Arterial Hypertension Drug: Aliskiren Drug: Placebo Phase 3

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 56 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomized, Double Blind, Active-controlled, Parallel Study to Analyse Effects of the Combination of Aliskiren and Valsartan on the Vascular Structure and Function of Retinal Vessels
Study Start Date : May 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 2013
Actual Study Completion Date : June 2013

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Drug Information available for: Aliskiren

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Aliskiren Drug: Aliskiren
orally 150 mg/d for 1 week, then orally 300 mg/d for 7 weeks
Other Name: Rasilez

Placebo Comparator: Placebo Drug: Placebo
orally once per day

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. To investigate the combined effect of aliskiren and valsartan on vascular structure, assessed by wall to lumen ratio of retinal arterioles, in hypertensive patients. [ Time Frame: After 8 weeks of treatment with aliskiren versus placebo ]
    WLR = (outer diameter - inner diameter) / inner diameter) of retinal arterioles

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Male or female aged 18 to 75 years (females of child bearing potential must be using adequate contraceptive precautions)
  • Females of childbearing potential or within two years of the menopause must have a negative urine pregnancy test at enrolment visit
  • Patients with mild to moderate uncomplicated essential hypertension with a trough mean sitting DBP ≥ 90 mmHg and/or SBP ≥ 140 mmHg or pretreated arterial hypertension
  • Written informed consent
  • Agreement to attend all study visits as planned in the protocol
  • Agreement to perform routinely self home blood pressure measurements as well as keep a blood pressure diary throughout the study and to inform the investigator if BP exceeds cutt off criteria given in the ICF

Exclusion Criteria:

  • In the investigator's opinion the patient can not be withdrawn from their current antihypertensive medication
  • Secondary hypertension (e.g. patients with hyperaldosteronism, pheochromocytoma, renal artery stenosis, renal parenchymal disease, coarctation of the aorta, Cushing's disease syndrome)
  • Severe essential hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥ 180 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 110 mmHg) or treatment resistant hypertension (3 antihypertensive drugs and still SBP ≥ 140mmHg and/or DBP ≥ 90mmHg)
  • History of hypertensive encephalopathy or intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Diabetes mellitus Type 1 or Type 2
  • History of epilepsia (no retinal exam possible)
  • Eye cataract (no retinal exam possible)
  • History of the following within the last six months: myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, percutaneous coronary intervention, heart failure
  • Presence of significant renal, respiratory, hepatic, gastrointestinal, endocrine or metabolic, immunological, haematological or oncological, neurological and psychiatric diseases or dysfunction
  • Impaired renal function as shown by estimated GFR (abbreviated MDRD formula) < 45 ml/min/1.73 m2
  • Impaired hepatic function as shown by transaminases higher than three times the upper normal limit
  • Known allergy or a known intolerance to any ARB or Aliskiren
  • Females who are pregnant or lactating or who are not on an adequate contraception (Pearl-Index ≥ 1 %)
  • Use of any investigational drug within 28 days before study entry
  • Patients previously enrolled into the study
  • History of drug, medication abuse.
  • Serious disorders which may limit the ability to evaluate the efficacy or safety of the test drug(s), including cerebrovascular, cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, hepatic, gastrointestinal, endocrine or metabolic, immunological, haematological or oncological, neurological and psychiatric diseases
  • Subject is the investigator or any subinvestigator, research assistant, pharmacist, study coordinator, other staff or relative thereof directly involved in the conduct of the protocol
  • Mental conditions rendering the subject unable to understand the nature, scope and possible consequences of the study
  • Subject unlikely to comply with protocol, e.g. uncooperative attitude, inability to return for follow-up visits and unlikelihood of completing the study
  • Subject who do not give written consent, that pseudonymous data will be transferred in line with the duty of documentation and the duty of notification according to § 12 and § 13 GCP-V

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT01318395

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Clinical Research Unit, Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Erlangen, Germany, 91054
Clinical Research Unit, Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Nürnberg, Germany, 90471
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Erlangen-Nürnberg Medical School
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Principal Investigator: Roland E Schmieder, MD University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Publications of Results:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Roland E. Schmieder, Prof. Dr. med., University of Erlangen-Nürnberg Medical School
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01318395    
Other Study ID Numbers: CSPP100ADE07T
First Posted: March 18, 2011    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 12, 2018
Last Verified: January 2018
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases