Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial investigating the effects of inorganic nitrate in hypertension-induced target organ damage: protocol of the NITRATE-TOD study in the UK

BMJ Open. 2020 Jan 21;10(1):e034399. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-034399.


Introduction: Arterial stiffness and left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy are the key markers of hypertensive target organ damage (TOD) associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We have previously shown that dietary inorganic nitrate supplementation lowers blood pressure (BP) in hypertension, however, whether this approach might also improve markers of hypertensive TOD is unknown. In this study, we will investigate whether daily dietary inorganic nitrate administration reduces LV mass and improves measures of arterial stiffness.

Methods and design: NITRATE-TOD is a double-blind, randomised, single-centre, placebo-controlled phase II trial aiming to enrol 160 patients with suboptimal BP control on one or more antihypertensives. Patients will be randomised to receive 4 months once daily dose of either nitrate-rich beetroot juice or nitrate-deplete beetroot juice (placebo). The primary outcomes are reduction in LV mass and reduction in pulse wave velocity (PWV) and central BP.The study has a power of 95% for detecting a 9 g LV mass change by cardiovascular MRI (~6% change for a mildly hypertrophied heart of 150 g). For PWV, we have a power of >95% for detecting a 0.6 m/s absolute change. For central systolic BP, we have a>90% power to detect a 5.8 mm Hg difference in central systolic BP.Secondary end points include change in ultrasound flow-mediated dilation, change in plasma nitrate and nitrite concentration and change in BP.

Ethics and dissemination: The study was approved by the London-City and East Research Ethics Committee (10/H0703/98). Trial results will be published according to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials statement and will be presented at conferences and reported in peer-reviewed journals.

Trial registration number: NCT03088514.

Keywords: cardiovascular imaging; clinical pharmacology; clinical trials; hypertension.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrates / therapeutic use*
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • United Kingdom
  • Vascular Stiffness / drug effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Nitrates

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03088514