June 2nd, 2011
Small Study Suggests Possible Benefits of Fish-Oil Supplements for PCI Patients
A small study from Poland raises the possibility that supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids may have beneficial effects when given to PCI patients already taking aspirin and clopidogrel. The investigator-initiated study randomized 54 PCI patients to either 1 g per day of n-3 PUFA daily or placebo for one month. The results have been published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
After one month, treatment with n-3-PUFA compared with placebo resulted in:
- significantly larger pores in the fibrin network, suggesting increased susceptibility to fibrinolysis,
- a reduction in thrombin generation, and
- a reduction in oxidative stress.
The supplements had no significant effect on fibrinogen or clotting-factor levels. A previous paper from the same study published last year in JACC reported that the fish-oil supplement helped augment the response of platelets to clopidogrel.
“There are no other studies on omega-3 effects in patients who were already being treated with optimal medical therapy after stent placement,” said the first author of the study, Grzegorz Gajos, in an AHA press release. “This was a proof of concept study. We were looking for any effect and what it might be.”
The authors concluded that their results indicate “novel antithrombotic effects produced by these agents. These effects may contribute to a decreased risk of thrombotic events after PCI following n-3 PUFA administration. A larger study is needed to assess clinical benefits potentially related to these novel antithrombotic effects of n-3 PUFA.”