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Interleukin-1 Blockade With Anakinra to Prevent Adverse Cardiac Remodeling After Acute Myocardial Infarction (Virginia Commonwealth University Anakinra Remodeling Trial [VCU-ART] Pilot Study)

      Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) initiates an intense inflammatory response in which interleukin-1 (IL-1) plays a central role. The IL-1 receptor antagonist is a naturally occurring antagonist, and anakinra is the recombinant form used to treat inflammatory diseases. The aim of the present pilot study was to test the safety and effects of IL-1 blockade with anakinra on left ventricular (LV) remodeling after AMI. Ten patients with ST-segment elevation AMI were randomized to either anakinra 100 mg/day subcutaneously for 14 days or placebo in a double-blind fashion. Two cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging and echocardiographic studies were performed during a 10- to 14-week period. The primary end point was the difference in the interval change in the LV end-systolic volume index (LVESVi) between the 2 groups on CMR imaging. The secondary end points included differences in the interval changes in the LV end-diastolic volume index, and C-reactive protein levels. A +2.0 ml/m2 median increase (interquartile range +1.0, +11.5) in the LVESVi on CMR imaging was seen in the placebo group and a −3.2 ml/m2 median decrease (interquartile range −4.5, −1.6) was seen in the anakinra group (p = 0.033). The median difference was 5.2 ml/m2. On echocardiography, the median difference in the LVESVi change was 13.4 ml/m2 (p = 0.006). Similar differences were observed in the LV end-diastolic volume index on CMR imaging (7.6 ml/m2, p = 0.033) and echocardiography (9.4 ml/m2, p = 0.008). The change in C-reactive protein levels between admission and 72 hours after admission correlated with the change in the LVESVi (R = +0.71, p = 0.022). In conclusion, in the present pilot study of patients with ST-segment elevation AMI, IL-1 blockade with anakinra was safe and favorably affected by LV remodeling. If confirmed in larger trials, IL-1 blockade might represent a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent heart failure after AMI.
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