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Atorvastatin for Microvascular Endothelial Function and Raynaud in Early Diffuse Scleroderma (TAMER)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02370784
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 25, 2015
Results First Posted : August 12, 2020
Last Update Posted : August 12, 2020
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Robyn T. Domsic, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh

Brief Summary:

The purpose of this study is to learn about the effect atorvastatin on blood vessel function and Raynaud symptoms in patients with early diffuse systemic sclerosis.

Systemic sclerosis is a disease characterized by blood vessel injury, immune system activation and fibrosis. Blood vessel injury is thought to be important early in the disease. Blood vessel complications of systemic sclerosis include Raynaud phenomena, finger and toe ulcers, and pulmonary hypertension. While atorvastatin reduces cholesterol, it is recognized to have many effects beyond cholesterol reduction. These include improvement of blood vessel function and reduction of fibrosis. We hypothesize that treatment with atorvastatin over 16 weeks will improve blood vessel function and Raynaud symptom in patients with early diffuse systemic sclerosis. We hope that by targeting therapy early in the disease we may delay blood vessel changes and improve Raynaud symptoms.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Scleroderma Drug: atorvastatin Drug: Placebo Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a multisystem autoimmune illness characterized by vasculopathy, immune system activation and fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. SSc affects approximately 240 people per million in the US, but is a disease for which there is no FDA approved medication. Current hypothesis of pathogenesis suggest that a vascular injury with endothelial dysfunction may be an inciting event contributing to immunologic activation and fibrosis in the pathogenesis of the disease. More than 90% of individuals with SSc have vascular complications including Raynaud phenomenon, digital ulcers or gangrene and pulmonary hypertension; with microvascular abnormalities felt to contribute to Raynaud and digital ulcerations.

Statin medications are well-recognized to have pleiotropic effects which may modify all three aspects of SSc pathogenesis. Early diagnosis and treatment of microvascular endothelial dysfunction and Raynaud phenomeonan may have the greatest effect in early disease. Thus, we hypothesize that treatment with atorvastatin in a well-defined cohort of early diffuse systemic sclerosis will produce beneficial results.

Participants will be patients with early diffuse systemic sclerosis and Raynaud phenomenon who have no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. A total of 30 patients will be enrolled and followed for 16 weeks. Half the patients will be randomized to atorvastatin and half to placebo. Patients will be allowed to continue underlying immunosuppressive and Raynaud therapy at stable doses during the trial. Since this is a pilot study, future larger controlled trials will be necessary to clearly demonstrate drug effectiveness. Investigators are hoping that this study will give us signals to guide a future multicenter clinical trial.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 24 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effect of Atorvastatin on Microvascular Endothelial Function and Raynaud in Early Diffuse Systemic Sclerosis
Study Start Date : February 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 15, 2018
Actual Study Completion Date : December 15, 2019

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Active Drug
atorvastatin 40 mg once daily for sixteen weeks
Drug: atorvastatin
Atorvastatin is an oral cholesterol-lowering medication commonly referred to as statin therapy.
Other Name: Lipitor

Placebo Comparator: Placebo control
receive a placebo of similar appearance once daily for sixteen weeks
Drug: Placebo
oral drug of similar appearance to atorvastatin

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Proportion of Patients Improving Their EndoPAT Reactive Hyperemia Index (RHI) at the End-of-study (16 Weeks) [ Time Frame: Change in RHI from baseline to 16 weeks expressed as the percentage of patients who improve (respond). ]
    EndoPAT is a proprietary device that assesses digital (microvascular) endothelial function during reactive hyperemia. A probe is placed on both index fingers. After 5 minutes of baseline observation, one arm is occluded for 5 minutes, while the other is not and serves as control. Output is the reactive hyperemia index (RHI), calculated as the post-to-pre occlusion signal ratio in the occluded side, "normalized to the control side and further corrected for baseline vascular tone" per Itamar Medical. There are no units. RHI ≤ 1.67 is abnormal and indicates endothelial dysfunction.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in the Raynaud Condition Score (RCS) at 16 Weeks (End-of-study) From Baseline [ Time Frame: change in RCS from baseline to week 16 ]
    The Raynaud Condition Score is a patient-reported outcome of a single question regarding Raynaud severity. It is a visual analog scale with a results range of 0-100. A score of 0 us is no symptoms, and 100 severe symptoms. It is recommended by OMERACT for assessment of Raynaud phenomenon.

  2. The Median Change in the Raynaud Phenomenon Visual Analog Scale (RP-VAS) Score at 16 Weeks (End-of-study) Compared to Baseline in the Atorvastatin and Placebo Groups. [ Time Frame: baseline to 16 weeks ]
    The RP-VAS scale measure ranges from 0-100, with 0 being no symptoms and 100 severe symptoms. Reported is the median and interquartile range of change between baseline and week 16 (end-of-study).

  3. % of Patients Who Improved Their Brachial Flow-mediation Dilation (%FMD) at 16 Weeks [ Time Frame: baseline to 16 weeks ]

    %FMD = change in brachial artery flow-mediation dilation between pre and post-ischemia. Baseline (pre-ischemia) is the reference to which percentage change is calculated.

    Result is expressed as the % of patients who had an improvement in their %FMD at 16 weeks compared to baseline.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. early diffuse scleroderma (< 3 years from the first scleroderma-related symptom)
  2. Raynaud phenomenon
  3. no use of lipid-lowering medication within 60 days

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. pregnancy
  2. renal or kidney dysfunction (creatinine < 2.0 mg/dL or creatinine clearance < 60 c/min)
  3. diabetes mellitus
  4. known cardiovascular disease or a prior history of stroke
  5. history of liver disease
  6. new or changed dose of calcium channel blockers (CCB) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in the last 4 weeks
  7. known allergy or adverse reaction to the atorvastatin or another statin drug

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02370784

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United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15261
Sponsors and Collaborators
Robyn T. Domsic, MD, MPH
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by Robyn T. Domsic, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh:
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Responsible Party: Robyn T. Domsic, MD, MPH, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02370784    
Other Study ID Numbers: PRO14010170
1R21AR066305-01A1 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: February 25, 2015    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: August 12, 2020
Last Update Posted: August 12, 2020
Last Verified: August 2020
Keywords provided by Robyn T. Domsic, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh:
early diffuse scleroderma
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Scleroderma, Systemic
Scleroderma, Diffuse
Connective Tissue Diseases
Skin Diseases
Anticholesteremic Agents
Hypolipidemic Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Lipid Regulating Agents
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors