Background: An inflammatory component has been identified in degenerative aortic stenosis (AS). The combination of vitamins E and C has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of the combination of vitamins C and E or vitamin C only on serum levels of cell adhesion molecules and C-reactive protein in patients with chronic degenerative AS, with or without concomitant coronary artery disease.
Methods and results: One hundred patients with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic moderate AS were randomized in 2:2:1 format in an open-label trial. Forty-one patients received vitamin E (400 IU) and vitamin C (1000 mg) daily, 39 patients received vitamin C (1000 mg) only, and 20 patients were followed as controls. Serum intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1), E selectin, P selectin, vascular-cellular adhesion molecule (VCAM-1), C-reactive protein, and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at baseline and 6 months postsupplementation. Half of the patients from each of the 2 active groups were followed for further 6 months to determine any changes after cessation of therapy. In the vitamin E and C, group there was reduction in serum ICAM-1 (298 +/- 12 to 272 +/- 12 ng/mL at 6 months, P = .0015) with a return to base line 6 months after cessation of therapy. In the vitamin C only group, there was a reduction in serum P selectin (134 +/- 10 to 118 +/- 10 ng/mL at 6 months, P = .033). All the inflammatory markers were unchanged in control group over 6 months of follow-up.
Conclusion: Vitamin E and C supplementation had modest anti-inflammatory effect in chronic degenerative AS. The clinical relevance of this would require further clarification.