Treatment of Preclinical Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy With Diltiazem

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00319982
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 27, 2006
Results First Posted : April 7, 2015
Last Update Posted : April 7, 2015
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Boston Children’s Hospital
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Carolyn Yung Ho, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brief Summary:

This is a pilot clinical trial to assess whether the administration of diltiazem may be able to decrease the development or progression of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Diltiazem is a commonly used medication for the treatment of high blood pressure and studies on animals with HCM suggest that diltiazem decreases disease development. This study specifically targets individuals in the "prehypertrophic" phase of HCM-- those with documented sarcomere gene mutations without echocardiographic or EKG evidence of LVH, and therefore without a clinical diagnosis of HCM.

The hypothesis of this study is that starting diltiazem administration early in life (in the prehypertrophic phase) will decrease the progression of HCM in individuals with sarcomere gene mutations. This will be assessed by looking at an improvement in the heart's ability to relax using echocardiography, as well as exploratory analyses of a broad range of features reflecting the heart's structure and function.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Drug: Diltiazem Drug: Placebo Phase 2 Phase 3

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Detailed Description:


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a genetic disorder characterized by histopathologic findings of cardiac myocyte disarray and fibrosis, and clinical manifestations of unexplained left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), diastolic dysfunction, and an increased risk for sudden death. It is a common disorder affecting approximately 1 in 1000 individuals in the general population. Dominantly-acting mutations in contractile proteins—genes encoding the elements of the sarcomere apparatus-- have been shown to be the genetic etiology of HCM. Contemporary management strategies for HCM focus on identification of individuals at high risk for sudden death and management of symptoms. There is no current therapy available which address disease prevention or phenotypic attenuation.

Dysregulation of intracellular calcium handling is a fundamental and early manifestation of sarcomere mutations. Animal models of HCM demonstrated abnormal Ca2+ cycling prior to the development of myocyte disarray or hypertrophy. Manipulation of intracellular Ca2+ handling in young, pre-hypertrophic mice with HCM via administration of the L-type Ca2+ channel blocker, diltiazem, attenuated the degree of hypertrophic remodeling and diminished the phenotypic manifestations of sarcomere mutations. Notably, if treatment was initiated later in life, after LVH was allowed to develop, there was no significant effect. Although this strategy has not yet been tested in humans, diltiazem is a commonly-used medication with a long track record of safety and tolerability.

Mutation carriers without discernible echocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy (designated G+/LVH-) represent a unique population of individuals with early disease who are ideal candidates for preemptive strategies to attempt to attenuate phenotypic development. One clinical marker of early disease is a subtle abnormality of LV diastolic function, detectable by tissue Doppler echocardiography (TDI). Individuals with sarcomere mutations have evidence of abnormal diastolic function by TDI as demonstrated by a 13-19% reduction in early myocardial relaxation velocities (E'), as compared to healthy controls.

Since LVH develops in a age-dependent manner, genetic diagnosis provides a mechanism for early identification of individuals at risk for developing HCM, prior to the expression of diagnostic clinical manifestations. One goal for the next era of medicine is to evolve from contemporary symptom palliation of late stage disease to early preventive strategies which instead strive to alter the natural history of disease development.


The goal of this trial is to evaluate the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of diltiazem administration in attenuating the natural history of HCM, focusing on tolerability and impact on diastolic function. The primary efficacy endpoint will be an improvement in diastolic function in G+/LVH- subjects receiving active therapy as compared to placebo, as measured by improved mean tissue Doppler echocardiographic early diastolic velocity (E') in the diltiazem group compared to the placebo group 2 years after randomization. As a pilot trial, treatment effects on multiple related parameters including changes in LV dimensions and mass, development of overt LVH, development of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) evidence of fibrosis, and levels of serum biomarkers will be analyzed in an exploratory manner to more fully characterize potential treatment effect. The safety endpoint will be no excess of all cause death, cardiovascular death (including sudden death), heart failure requiring medication or hospitalization, or a significant difference in the development of symptoms/side effects which necessitate discontinuation of treatment in the active vs placebo arm.

STUDY DESIGN AND SCHEMA A placebo-controlled, randomized double-blind Pilot clinical trial.

Eligible G+/LVH- subjects will undergo baseline studies (physical examination, echocardiography, CMR, blood tests) and will be randomized to receive diltiazem or placebo in a double blind fashion. There is a 3 week titration phase to increase the dose of study drug to target. The total duration of the study protocol is 5 years: study drug will be continued for a total of 4 years and a 1 year post-treatment evaluation will be performed. The primary endpoint will be assessed after 2 years of treatment.

Study visits and data collection consist of echocardiography at 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36,48, and 60 months. Annual evaluations consisting of physical exam, echocardiography, EKG, and measurement of serum biomarkers will also be performed.

PATIENT POPULATION Eligible subjects will have an identified sarcomere mutation with no clinical evidence of LVH. Children age 15 years and older will be enrolled at Brigham and Women's Hospital; children age 5-15 years will be enrolled via Children's Hospital Boston.

Major Inclusion Criteria:

  • Preclinical HCM as defined by above G+/LVH- criteria
  • Able to provide informed consent (or parental consent)

Major Major Exclusion Criteria:

Contraindication to diltiazem administration, including the following pre-existing conditions:

  • Second or third degree atrioventricular block
  • Symptomatic heart failure
  • Sick sinus syndrome
  • Concomitant treatment with verapamil and/or beta-blockers
  • Concomitant treatment with cyclosporine or FK506
  • Impaired hepatic or renal function
  • Age <5 years
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women



Improvement in diastolic function as reflected by the averaged E' velocity compared to baseline (E' velocities improve, remain stable, or decline less in the treated group) 2 years following initiation of treatment.

As a pilot study, numerous other parameters reflecting myocardial structure and function will also be explored.


  • Development of left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Improvement in, stability of, or attenuation of increase in serum biomarkers (e.g., BNP, ST2, PICP, PIIINP, PINP) at 3, 6, and 18 months, annually and at study end
  • Improvement in, stability of or attenuation of increase in CMR evidence of myocardial fibrosis

    - Impact on left ventricular morphology, remodeling, and cavity size

  • Safety: no excess of all cause death, CV death (including sudden death), heart failure requiring medication or hospitalization; No excess of adverse events
  • Tolerability: no excess need to reduce or withdraw study medication; no significant difference in adherence to study medication

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 39 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Treatment of Preclinical Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy With Diltiazem
Study Start Date : January 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2012
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2013

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: I- Diltiazem
Diltiazem- study medication
Drug: Diltiazem
Sustained release formulation titrated to a target dose of 360 mg daily, or a maximum of 5 mg/kg/day in pediatric subjects for the duration of the study period

Placebo Comparator: II- Placebo
Placebo Comparator
Drug: Placebo
Placebo comparator (double-blind allocation of study medication)

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Increase, Stability of, or Decrease in the Decline of Diastolic Function as Reflected by the Global Early Myocardial Relaxation (E') Velocity [ Time Frame: Baseline and final study visits ]
    The change in E' velocity (difference between final value - baseline value) was compared between participants who received diltiazem and those who received placebo to gauge treatment response. Please note that the total duration on treatment varied between study subjects to maximize time on treatment for the trial. Specifically, subjects that enrolled earliest had the longest duration of treatment; those who enrolled latest had the shortest duration of treatment with a minimum treatment duration of 1 year. All analyses examine the final study visit on treatment to the baseline visit.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Safety and Tolerability of Diltiazem Treatment [ Time Frame: Baseline through final study visits ]
    Adverse events were compared between participants assigned to diltiazem and those assigned to placebo

  2. Impact of Diltiazem on Heart Rate [ Time Frame: Baseline and final study visits ]
    Change in Value (Difference between Final and Baseline Visits)

  3. Left Ventricular Cavity Size [ Time Frame: Baseline and final study visits ]
    Change in Left Ventricular End-Diastolic Diameter z-score (Final Value - Baseline Value)

  4. Development of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy [ Time Frame: Baseline through final study visits ]
    The number of participants who developed overt left ventricular hypertrophy during the duration of the trial was analyzed

  5. Adherence to Study Medication [ Time Frame: Duration of the trial ]
    Adherence to study medication was assessed by pill count

  6. Impact of Diltiazem on Systolic Blood Pressure [ Time Frame: Baseline and final study visits ]
    Change in Value (Difference between Final and Baseline Visits)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   5 Years to 39 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Preclinical HCM (identified sarcomere mutation with no clinical evidence of left ventricular hypertrophy)
  • Able to provide informed consent (or parental consent)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Contraindication to diltiazem administration
  • Impaired hepatic or renal function
  • Age < 5 years
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women

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 identifier (NCT number): NCT00319982

United States, Massachusetts
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02115
Children's Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02115
Sponsors and Collaborators
Brigham and Women's Hospital
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Boston Children’s Hospital
Principal Investigator: Carolyn Y Ho, MD Brigham and Women's Hospital


Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Carolyn Yung Ho, MD, Associate Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital Identifier: NCT00319982     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 001936
K23HL078901 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: April 27, 2006    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: April 7, 2015
Last Update Posted: April 7, 2015
Last Verified: March 2015

Keywords provided by Carolyn Yung Ho, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital:
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Left ventricular hypertrophy

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Pathological Conditions, Anatomical
Aortic Stenosis, Subvalvular
Aortic Valve Stenosis
Heart Valve Diseases
Antihypertensive Agents
Calcium Channel Blockers
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Vasodilator Agents