Effect of short-term colchicine treatment on endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease

Int J Cardiol. 2019 Apr 15;281:35-39. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2019.01.054. Epub 2019 Jan 15.


Background: Inflammation is associated with endothelial dysfunction and plays an important role in the pathogenesis and development of cardiovascular diseases. It has been shown that colchicine, an anti-inflammatory drug, improves the cardiovascular outcome in patients with cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the short-term effect of low-dose colchicine on endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).

Methods: This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover-within-subject clinical trial. A total of 28 patients with CAD received low-dose colchicine (0.5 mg/day) or a placebo for 7 days with a washout period of at least 14 days. Flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) and serum concentrations of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were measured after the 7-day treatment with colchicine or the placebo.

Results: The serum concentration of hs-CRP was significantly decreased after administration of colchicine compared with that after administration of the placebo [median (interquartile range): 0.04 (0.02-0.08) mg/dL vs. 0.07 (0.04-0.11) mg/dL, P = 0.003], while there was no significant difference in FMD between the treatments [median (interquartile range): 3.1% (1.5-5.3%) vs. 3.3% (1.9-5.2%), P = 0.384]. Colchicine, however, significantly improved FMD in coronary artery disease patients with white blood cell (WBC) counts of ≥7500 WBC/mm3 [median (interquartile range): 3.3% (2.1-6.6%) vs. 2.0% (1.4-3.8%), P = 0.043].

Conclusions: Administration of low-dose colchicine did not improve endothelial function in patients with CAD, but exploratory analysis suggested that endothelial function is significantly improved in patients with leukocyte activation.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular disease; Colchicine; Endothelial function.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colchicine / administration & dosage*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / drug therapy*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Endothelium, Vascular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gout Suppressants / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods


  • Gout Suppressants
  • Colchicine