A clinical study called the GutHeart Trial is poised to examine the potential relationship between the bacterial composition of the gut and inflammatory and metabolic pathways in the cardiovascular system.
As described in an ESC Heart Failure article, the phase II randomized controlled trial will enroll patients with heart failure who will receive an antibiotic, a probiotic yeast, or no treatment on top of recommended heart failure treatment.
"To the best of our knowledge, the GutHeart trial is the first intervention study to assess the profile of the gut microbiota in heart failure patients and the way this profile is affected by drugs that act locally in the gut," said first author Dr. Cristiane C. K. Mayerhofer, of Oslo University Hospital, in Norway. "The new knowledge can pave the way for new innovative treatment strategies and will lead to a better understanding of how gut leakage is associated with inflammatory processes and heart failure."
The potential significance of the study extends beyond the cardiovascular system, noted co-author Dr. Ayodeji Awoyemi, of Oslo University Hospital Ulleval. "It will most definitely expand our knowledge with regard to the clinical implications of modulating the gut microbiome," he said.
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Cristiane C.K. Mayerhofer et al, Design of the GutHeart-targeting gut microbiota to treat heart failure-trial: a Phase II, randomized clinical trial, ESC Heart Failure (2018). DOI: 10.1002/ehf2.12332