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Cardiovascular-Protective Effects of Herbal Medicine Danshen-Gegen

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Chinese University of Hong Kong Identifier:
First received: December 15, 2009
Last updated: NA
Last verified: January 2006
History: No changes posted

Atherosclerosis (in particular stroke and heart attack) is the most important health issue in modernized society and high blood pressure is an important predisposing factor. Hypertensive subjects with other chronic disease such as diabetes mellitus or impaired renal function are particularly vulnerable to these atherosclerotic complications in spite of standard antihypertensive therapies.

Danshen and Gegen are commonly used in Chinese materia medica as treatment for cardiac symptoms and atherosclerosis-related disorders.

The objective of this study is to test Danshen and Gegen as an cardiovascular-protective adjunctive regimen to prevent high-risk hypertensive cohort from primary atherosclerosis.

Condition Intervention Phase
Drug: D&G 2g
Drug: D&G 1g
Drug: Placebo
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Novel Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Control Clinical Trial in High-Risk Hypertensive Subjects

Further study details as provided by Chinese University of Hong Kong:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Ultrasound study for measuring carotid intima-media thickening (IMT) [ Time Frame: 1 year ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Blood tests: lipids, creatinine, glucose, fibrinogen, hs-CRP and haemoglobin A1-C Physical examination: Blood pressure, weight, height, body mass index, hip waist ratio [ Time Frame: 1 year ]

Enrollment: 90
Study Start Date: January 2006
Study Completion Date: May 2008
Primary Completion Date: May 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Image-matched placebo of active treatment
Drug: Placebo
Image-matched placebo, made with starch.
Active Comparator: D&G 1g
Randomly allocated into three groups, D&G capsule 1g/day
Drug: D&G 1g
Danshen consists of the dried root and rhizome of the perennial herb Salvia miltiorrhiza Bge. Gegen is the dried roots of Pueraria lobata (willd.). The combination in the ratio of 7:3 of the raw herbs. Capsule form, Orally taken 1g per Day
Other Name: Danshen Gegen
Active Comparator: D&G 2g
Randomly allocated into three groups, D&G capsule 2g/day
Drug: D&G 2g
Danshen consists of the dried root and rhizome of the perennial herb Salvia miltiorrhiza Bge. Gegen is the dried roots of Pueraria lobata (willd.). The combination in the ratio of 7:3 of the raw herbs. Capsule form, Orally taken 2g per Day
Other Name: Danshen Gegen

Detailed Description:

Danshen and Gegen (D&G) are two traditional herbal medicines used for cardiac symptoms in ancient Chinese medicinal literature. Recent studies suggest their therapeutic effects in blood pressure and lipid-lowering, anti-oxidation, microcirculation-promoting, foam cells-modulation and have beneficial effects on atherogenic process in coronary patients.

To evaluate the potential of D&G in primary atherosclerosis prevention in high risk hypertension. Patients with high risk hypertension associated with left ventricular hypertrophy, diabetes mellitus and renal insufficiency were randomized to receive D&G herbal capsules (2gm/day), or (1gm/day) or identical placebo capsules in double-blind and parallel fashion for 12 months on top of their anti-hypertensive treatments. Flow-mediated dilation (endothelium-dependent dilation, FMD) and nitroglycerin-induced dilation (endothelium-independent dilation, NTG) of brachial artery, and carotid intima-media thickness (surrogate atherosclerosis marker, IMT) were measured by high resolution B-mode ultrasound.


Ages Eligible for Study:   35 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • High-risk hypertension: Asymptomatic hypertensive (pretreatment BP>160/95mmHg) subjects, currently blood pressure under control (BP<140/90mmHg),
  • Aged 35-70 years
  • With either (i)left ventricular hypertrophy on ECG or echocardiographic criteria, (ii) diabetes mellitus, or (iii) mild renal impairment (plasma creatinine 120-250µmol/l)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Known intolerance to D&G due to adverse effect, patients with bleeding, disorders or on long-term anticoagulation.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01033630

Hong Kong
Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Prince of Wales Hospital
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Yan Chai Hospital
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Sponsors and Collaborators
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Principal Investigator: Thomas YK Chan, Prof. Department of Medicine & Therapeutics, Prince of Wales hospital