Trimetazidine improves exercise performance in patients with peripheral arterial disease

Cristiana Vitale, Giuseppe Marazzi, Francesco Pelliccia, Maurizio Volterrani, Elena Cerquetani, Ilaria Spoletini, Giuseppe Mercuro, Stefano Bonassi, Valentina Dall'Armi, Massimo Fini, Giuseppe M C Rosano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trimetazidine, an inhibitor of free fatty acids (FFA) oxidation, shifts cardiac and muscle metabolism from FFA to glucose utilization. This effect results in a greater production of high energy phosphates and ultimately into an anti-ischemic effect. Whether the anti-ischemic cardiac effects of trimetazidine (TMZ) can be translated to skeletal muscle in patients with claudication is unknown. We investigated the effectiveness of TMZ on functional performance in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and claudication. One hundred patients with claudication were enrolled in a parallel, double-blind, 3 months study. Patients were randomized to receive TMZ or matching placebo and were included in a domiciliary exercise program, consisting in daily sessions of aerobic and isotonic exercise for at least five days a week. All patients underwent a treadmill test, evaluating maximal walking distance (MWD), and ankle-brachial index (ABI) at baseline and after 3 months. ABI was similar in the two groups at baseline and did not significantly change at the end of the study in either groups (0.83 + 0.04 vs 0.85 + 0.03, TMZ vs placebo, respectively). MWD improved in all patients with exercise training; however, a greater improvement in MWD was observed with TMZ compared to placebo (23% vs 14%, p <0.0001). Physical training ameliorates functional performance in PAD. The adjunct of TMZ to exercise induces a greater improvement in MWD, suggesting that the inhibition of FFA oxidation improves functional capacity in patients with PAD and claudication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-283
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Exercise performance
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Trimetazidine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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