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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Pentoxifylline at Improving Blood Vessel Function in HIV-infected People Not Receiving Antiretroviral Medications

This study has been completed.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Samir Gupta, Indiana University Identifier:
First received: November 21, 2008
Last updated: May 20, 2013
Last verified: May 2013
People infected with HIV have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease than people not infected with HIV. This may be due to increased inflammation brought on by either the HIV infection itself or the use of antiretroviral medications to treat HIV infection. This study will evaluate an anti-inflammatory drug, pentoxifylline, to determine whether it improves blood vessel function and reduces inflammation in people infected with HIV who are not currently receiving antiretroviral medications.

Condition Intervention Phase
Cardiovascular Diseases
Drug: Pentoxifylline
Drug: Placebo
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Pentoxifylline to Improve Endothelial Function in HIV-Infected Patients Not Requiring Antiretroviral Therapy

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Indiana University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Change in Flow-mediated Dilation of the Brachial Artery [ Time Frame: Measured at baseline and Week 8 ]
    Flow-mediated dilation is nn in vivo measure of arterial endothelial function. We assessed changes in flow-mediated dilation from baseline to week 8.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Immunologic Parameters (i.e., Activated CD8 Cell Percentage, CD4 Cell Count) [ Time Frame: Measured at baseline and Weeks 4 and 8 ]
  • Inflammatory Biomarkers (i.e., MCP-1, sVCAM-1, IP-10, MMP-9, TIMP-1, PAI-1 Active, hsCRP) [ Time Frame: Measured at baseline and Weeks 4 and 8 ]
  • Metabolics (i.e., Fasting Lipid Profile, Glucose, Insulin) [ Time Frame: Measured at baseline and Weeks 4 and 8 ]
  • Safety and Tolerability [ Time Frame: Measured at Weeks 4 and 8 ]

Enrollment: 26
Study Start Date: January 2009
Study Completion Date: October 2011
Primary Completion Date: October 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Participants will receive pentoxifylline.
Drug: Pentoxifylline
400 mg three times a day for 8 weeks
Placebo Comparator: 2
Participants will receive placebo.
Drug: Placebo
One pill three times a day for 8 weeks

Detailed Description:

People infected with HIV have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death for those with HIV. The increase in cardiovascular disease has been thought to be linked to the use of several types of antiretroviral medications used to treat HIV infection. These medications have been shown to cause insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, or high cholesterol levels—conditions that can lead to atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of plaque within the arteries, and ultimately to cardiovascular disease. However, new research is emerging that suggests that people infected with HIV who do not receive antiretroviral medications may also have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease as a result of increased endothelial dysfunction. This condition, which involves malfunctioning of the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels, can lead to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Pentoxifylline is a medication that is currently used to reduce leg pain in people with blockages in the blood vessels in their legs. Previous research has shown that pentoxifylline may reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel function in people infected with HIV, but more research is needed to confirm these benefits. The purpose of this study is to determine whether pentoxifylline reduces inflammation and improves endothelial function in HIV-infected people who are not receiving antiretroviral medications.

This study will enroll HIV-infected people who are not currently receiving antiretroviral medications. At a baseline study visit, participants will undergo a medical history review; physical examination; measurements in blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight, waist, and hip; and blood and urine collection. An ultrasound imaging test of the arm will measure blood vessel function. Participants will then be randomly assigned to receive either pentoxifylline or placebo three times a day for 8 weeks. At study visits at Weeks 4 and 8, participants will undergo repeat baseline measurements.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Documentation of HIV infection with a positive HIV enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test and confirmatory western blot test
  • CD4 cell count greater than 350/µL at the time of screening
  • Has not received any antiretroviral therapies in the 6 months before screening
  • No anticipated need for any antiretroviral therapies during the course of this study, as determined by the principal investigator or by the participant's HIV caregiver

Note: There is no HIV-1 RNA level eligibility criterion.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Incarceration at the time of screening or at any study visit
  • Diagnosed vascular disease, including history of angina pectoris, coronary disease, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, aortic aneurysm, or otherwise known atherosclerotic disease
  • Diagnosed disease or process, other than HIV infection, associated with increased systemic inflammation (including, but not limited to, systemic lupus erythematosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, or other collagen vascular diseases). Hepatitis B or C co-infections are NOT exclusionary.
  • History of bleeding diathesis, gastrointestinal ulceration or bleeding, cerebrovascular aneurysm or bleeding, or retinal hemorrhage
  • Known or suspected cancer requiring systemic treatment in the 6 months before screening
  • History of American Diabetes Association (ADA)-defined diabetes mellitus. History of gestational diabetes is not exclusionary if the potential participant does not have current ADA-defined diabetes.
  • History of migraine headaches
  • History of Raynaud's phenomenon
  • History of cardiac arrhythmias or cardiomyopathy
  • History of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, even if treated
  • Known allergy or intolerance to pentoxifylline or other methylxanthines (e.g., theophylline, caffeine, theobromine). Use of caffeinated products, except on the mornings of the study visits, is not exclusionary.
  • Known allergy or intolerance to nitroglycerin
  • History of carotid bruits
  • Creatinine clearance less than 50 mL/min, using the Cockcroft-Gault equation and a serum creatinine level measured in the 28 days before screening or at the screening visit
  • Hemoglobin less than 9.0 mg/dL in the 28 days before screening or at the screening visit
  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) greater than three times the upper limit of normal (ULN) in the 28 days before screening or at the screening visit
  • Total bilirubin greater than 2.5 times the ULN in the 28 days before screening or at the screening visit
  • Fever, defined as a temperature greater than or equal to 38.0 C in the 48 hours before screening. Fever in the 48 hours before each study visit will require postponement of that study visit until the participant's temperature has been lower than 38.0 C for at least 48 hours; fevers continuing past the allowed study visit timeframe will result in study discontinuation.
  • Therapy for acute infection or other serious medical illnesses in the 14 days before screening. Therapy for acute infection or other serious medical illnesses that overlaps with a study visit will result in postponement of that study visit until the course of therapy is completed; postponement outside of the allowed study visit timeframe will result in study discontinuation.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Hypotension, defined as systolic blood pressure less than 90 mm Hg, at time of screening. Hypotension noted prior to brachial artery reactivity testing at each study visit will result in study visit postponement of at least 1 day until systolic pressure is greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg the morning of brachial reactivity testing; postponement outside of the allowed study visit timeframe will result in study discontinuation.
  • Hypertension, defined as the receipt of any antihypertensive medication in the 28 days before screening or systolic blood pressure greater than 160 mm Hg at the screening visit
  • Receipt of anti-inflammatory agents (including, but not limited to, plaquenil, infliximab, etanercept, mycophenolate mofetil, sirolimus, tacrolimus, cyclosporine, pentoxifylline, or thalidomide) in the 28 days before screening
  • Receipt of investigational agents, cytotoxic chemotherapy, systemic or topical glucocorticoids (of any dose), or anabolic steroids in the 28 days before screening. Physiologic testosterone replacement therapy is not exclusionary.
  • Receipt of lipid-lowering drugs, aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), acetazolamide, anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, or thyroid replacements in the 28 days before screening
  • Use of sildenafil, vardenafil, or tadalafil in the 72 hours before or after each study visit
  • Active drug or alcohol use or dependence that, in the opinion of the investigator, would interfere with adherence to study requirements
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00796822

United States, Indiana
Indiana Clinical Research Center
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46202
Sponsors and Collaborators
Indiana University
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Principal Investigator: Samir K. Gupta, MD, MS Indiana University School of Medicine
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Samir Gupta, Associate Professor of Medicine, Indiana University Identifier: NCT00796822     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 614
R01HL095149-01 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: November 21, 2008
Results First Received: March 13, 2013
Last Updated: May 20, 2013

Keywords provided by Indiana University:
Endothelial Function

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cardiovascular Diseases
Arterial Occlusive Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
Radiation-Protective Agents
Protective Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Vasodilator Agents
Free Radical Scavengers
Antioxidants processed this record on April 27, 2017