Actos helps myocardial blood flow and glucose utilization
In patients with familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL), the addition of Actos (pioglitazone) to lipid-lowering therapy led to significant improvements in myocardial glucose utilization (MGU) and blood flow (MBF), according to a study published in the Nov. 5 online version of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company manufactures Actos.

The changes were paralleled by an increase in HDL cholesterol and a reduction in plasma insulin, according to Paolo Camici, MD, of the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Center, and colleagues.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the researchers examined 26 patients with FCHL, treated with Actos or matching placebo 30 mg daily for four weeks, followed by 45 mg daily for 12 weeks.

PET scans were used to measure MBF at rest and during hyperemia and MGU during and after four months of treatment.

Whereas no change was observed in the placebo group after treatment, patients receiving Actos showed a significant increase in whole body glucose disposal and MGU, accompanied by a significant improvement in resting MBF. Furthermore, in the Actos group HDL cholesterol and adiponectin were increased and plasma insulin was reduced.

The researchers said that this is the first study in which Actos was used to investigate its effects on MGU and absolute resting and hyperemic MBF in the same patients simultaneously.