Background: Beta-blockers are often not the preferred treatment for patients with vasospastic angina. However, nebivolol, beta-blocker with nitric oxide-releasing effect, could theoretically improve coronary vasospasm. We compared nebivolol versus diltiazem in improving coronary vasospasm and quality of life in patients with hypertensive vasospastic angina during a 12-week follow-up.
Methods: Fifty-one hypertensive patients with documented coronary vasospasm were randomly allocated into 3 treatment groups: (1) Nebivolol Group (5mg for 2 weeks/10mg for 10 weeks); (2) Diltiazem Group (90mg for 2 weeks/180mg for 10 weeks); (3) Low-dose Combination Group (2.5mg + 45mg for 2 weeks/5mg + 90mg for 10 weeks). The primary endpoint was to compare the percent changes in coronary vasospasm at 12 weeks from baseline among the 3 groups. The secondary endpoints included changes in quality of life based on the Seattle Angina Questionnaire and changes in blood pressure at 12 weeks from baseline.
Results: Significant improvements in coronary vasospasm were found in all groups; however, the improvement in percent changes in coronary artery spasm was greatest in the Diltiazem Group (50.4±8.8% vs. 67.8±12.8% vs. 46.8±12.3%, Nebivolol Group vs. Diltiazem Group p = 0.008; Nebivolol Group vs. Low-dose Combination Group p = 0.999; Diltiazem Group vs. Low-dose Combination Group p = 0.017). The overall Seattle Angina Questionnaire scores were significantly elevated at 12 weeks compared to the baseline in entire study population. There were no significant differences between the three groups in the overall Seattle Angina Questionnaire score changes and blood pressure changes.
Conclusions: Both nebivolol and diltiazem showed significant coronary vasospasm reduction effect, but the effect was greater for diltiazem.