METHODS: In a multicentre double-blind randomized controlled trial of patients with AS undergoing AVR ± coronary artery bypass graft surgery, patients were randomized to preoperative oral therapy with either perhexiline or placebo. The primary end point was incidence of inotrope use to improve haemodynamic performance due to a low cardiac output state during the first 6 h of reperfusion, judged by a blinded end points committee. Secondary outcome measures included haemodynamic measurements, electrocardiographic and biochemical markers of new myocardial injury and clinical safety outcome measures.
RESULTS: The trial was halted early on the advice of the Data Safety and Monitoring Board. Sixty-two patients were randomized to perhexiline and 65 to placebo. Of these, 112 (54 perhexiline and 48 placebo) patients received the intervention, remained in the trial at the time of the operation and were analysed. Of 110 patients who achieved the primary end point, 30 patients (16 perhexiline and 14 placebo) had inotropes started appropriately; there was no difference in the incidence of inotrope usage OR of 1.65 [confidence interval (CI): 0.67-4.06] P = 0.28. There was no difference in myocardial injury as evidenced by electrocardiogram odds ratio (OR) of 0.36 (CI: 0.07-1.97) P = 0.24 or postoperative troponin release. Gross secondary outcome measures were comparable between the groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Perhexiline as a metabolic modulator to enhance standard myocardial protection does not provide an additional benefit in haemodynamic performance or attenuate myocardial injury in the hypertrophied heart secondary to AS. The role of perhexiline in cardiac surgery is limited.