Omega-3 fatty acids (O-3FA) can reduce adverse left ventricular remodeling in patients who have had an acute myocardial infarction (MI), a new placebo-controlled trial has found.

The function of O-3FA in modifying cardiac structures post-MI is unknown. The researchers conducted a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a cohort of 358 participants with an acute MI. They were randomly assigned to 6 months of high-dose omega-3 fatty acids (n=180) or placebo (n=178). 

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Results showed that patients treated with O-3FA experienced a significant reduction of left ventricular systolic volume index compared to the placebo treated group (–5.8%, P=0.017). In addition, noninfarct myocardial fibrosis also reduced for the O-3FA group compare to the placebo group (–5.6%, P=0.026).

Patients who achieved the highest quartile increase in red blood cell omega-3 index experienced a 13% reduction in left ventricular systolic volume index when compared to the lowest quartile, as shown in the per-protocol analysis. The O-3FA group had no adverse events.

The study authors conclude that high dose O-3FA treatment in patients with acute MI “was associated with reduction of adverse left ventricular remodeling, noninfarct myocardial fibrosis, and serum biomarkers of systemic inflammation beyond the current guideline-based standard of care.”

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