Background: Diabetic patients present with an accelerated atherosclerotic process and an increased risk for future cardiovascular events. In addition to the risk imposed by the disease itself, pharmacological treatment adds also a sizable risk, especially if certain classes of antidiabetic drugs are employed. Animal evidence indicates that dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors have anti-atherosclerotic effects, yet clinical data are scarcely available.Design: We plan to prospectively investigate the effects of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibition with vildagliptin on a number of atherothrombotic markers and adipokines in patients with proven atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. The selected markers are: interleukin-6, high sensitivity C reactive protein, interleukin 1-beta, total adiponectin levels, matrix metallo-proteinase 9 and platelet reactivity testing. Sixty eligible patients will be randomized in a 2:1 ratio to vildagliptin/metformin or metformin only treatment, for a 3-month duration treatment. Blood sampling for the proposed investigations will be taken at enrollment and immediately after completion of the study period.Discussion: Demonstrating antiatherothrombotic properties of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors on proven markers is of substantial clinical significance. Coupled with their proven good safety profile these findings could translate into a significant clinical benefit.
- Type 2 diabetes