Short-term effect of low-dose colchicine on inflammatory biomarkers, lipids, blood count and renal function in chronic coronary artery disease and elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein

Aernoud T. L. Fiolet, Max J. M. Silvis, Tjerk S. J. Opstal, Willem A. Bax, Frans A. L. van der Horst, Arend Mosterd, Dominique de Kleijn, Jan H. Cornel

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Aims Inflammation plays a pivotal role in atherothrombosis. Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory drug that may attenuate this process. Cardiovascular protective effects of anti-inflammatory drugs, however, seem to be limited to patients with a biochemical response. We therefore investigated whether short-term exposure to colchicine reduced inflammatory markers and whether additional laboratory changes occur in patients with chronic coronary artery disease. Methods & results In 138 consecutive patients with chronic coronary artery disease and a high sensitivity C-reactive Protein (hs-CRP) ≥ 2 mg/L, inflammatory markers, lipids, haematologic parameters and renal function were measured at baseline and after 30 days exposure to colchicine 0.5mg once daily. Hs-CRP decreased from baseline 4.40 mg/L (interquartile range [IQR] 2.83–6.99 mg/L) to 2.33 mg/L (IQR 1.41–4.17, median of the differences -1.66 mg/L, 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.17 – -1.22 mg/L, p-value <0.01), corresponding to a median change from baseline of -40%. Interleukin-6 decreased from 2.51 ng/L (IQR 1.59–4.32 ng/ L) to 2.22 ng/L (median of the differences -0.36 ng/L, 95%CI -0.70 – -0.01 ng/L, p-value 0.04), corresponding to a median change from baseline of -16%. No clinically relevant changes in lipid fractions were observed. Both leukocyte and thrombocyte count decreased (median change from baseline -7% and -4% respectively). Estimated glomerular filtration rate decreased with a mean change from baseline of -2%. Conclusion In patients with chronic coronary artery disease and elevated hs-CRP, one-month exposure to colchicine 0.5 mg once daily was associated with a reduction of inflammatory markers. A small effect was seen on white blood cell count and platelet count, as well as a small decrease in estimated glomerular filtration rate.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0237665
Issue number8 August 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

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