Multicentre double-blind randomized controlled trial of perhexiline as a metabolic modulator to augment myocardial protection in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy undergoing cardiac surgery

Eshan L Senanayake, Neil J Howell, Aaron M Ranasinghe, Nigel E Drury, Nick Freemantle, Michael Frenneaux, Tessa Oelofse, David Green, Ian C Wilson, Stephen J Rooney, Jorge Mascaro, Timothy R Graham, Sunil Bhudia, Michael Lewis, Domenico Pagano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Patients undergoing cardiac surgery require adequate myocardial protection. Manipulating myocardial metabolism may improve the extent of myocardial protection. Perhexiline has been shown to be an effective anti-anginal agent due to its metabolic modulation properties by inhibiting the uptake of free fatty acids into the mitochondrion, and thereby promoting a more efficient carbohydrate-driven myocardial metabolism. Metabolic modulation may augment myocardial protection, particularly in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) known to have a deranged metabolic state and are at risk of poor postoperative outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the role of perhexiline as an adjunct in myocardial protection in patients with LVH secondary to aortic stenosis (AS), undergoing an aortic valve replacement (AVR).

METHODS: In a multicentre double-blind randomized controlled trial of patients with AS undergoing AVR ± coronary artery bypass graft surgery, patients were randomized to preoperative oral therapy with either perhexiline or placebo. The primary end point was incidence of inotrope use to improve haemodynamic performance due to a low cardiac output state during the first 6 h of reperfusion, judged by a blinded end points committee. Secondary outcome measures included haemodynamic measurements, electrocardiographic and biochemical markers of new myocardial injury and clinical safety outcome measures.

RESULTS: The trial was halted early on the advice of the Data Safety and Monitoring Board. Sixty-two patients were randomized to perhexiline and 65 to placebo. Of these, 112 (54 perhexiline and 48 placebo) patients received the intervention, remained in the trial at the time of the operation and were analysed. Of 110 patients who achieved the primary end point, 30 patients (16 perhexiline and 14 placebo) had inotropes started appropriately; there was no difference in the incidence of inotrope usage OR of 1.65 [confidence interval (CI): 0.67-4.06] P = 0.28. There was no difference in myocardial injury as evidenced by electrocardiogram odds ratio (OR) of 0.36 (CI: 0.07-1.97) P = 0.24 or postoperative troponin release. Gross secondary outcome measures were comparable between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Perhexiline as a metabolic modulator to enhance standard myocardial protection does not provide an additional benefit in haemodynamic performance or attenuate myocardial injury in the hypertrophied heart secondary to AS. The role of perhexiline in cardiac surgery is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Early online date23 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


  • myocardial protection
  • left ventricular hypertrophy
  • perhexiline
  • metabolic modulation
  • aortic stenosis
  • cardiac surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Multicentre double-blind randomized controlled trial of perhexiline as a metabolic modulator to augment myocardial protection in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy undergoing cardiac surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this