Animal experiments demonstrated a significant suppressive effect of various calcium channel blockers on the formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Therefore, a prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized, double blind multicenter study was performed to investigate the inhibitory influence of the calcium channel blocker nifedipine (80 mg/day) on the progression of coronary artery disease in man. Study endpoints were changes of coronary morphology documented by coronary angiography with particular respect to the formation of new coronary stenoses. In 348 out of 425 patients included in the study, coronary angiograms were repeated after three years. The angiograms were standardized by induction of a maximal coronary vasodilation with high doses of nitrates and by using absolutely identical angiographic projections. Quantitative analysis of coronary cineangiograms was performed with the computer-assisted contour detection system CAAS. Parameters were mean and minimal diameter of all segments and minimal stenosis diameter, percent diameter stenosis, length and plaque area of all stenoses. Continuous intake of study medication was registered in 282 patients, 134 on nifedipine and 148 patients on placebo. In these patients, a total of 3808 coronary segments with 893 stenoses (≥ 20% diameter reduction in at least one angiographic projection) were compared on the baseline and follow-up cineangiograms. The changes in all angiographic parameters analyzed averaged over all patients by considering all angiographic projections analyzed, indicated significant progression of the disease (p < 0.006). The average changes in all parameters were even about three times more profound, when in the individual patients only the respective projections indicating the maximal changes were considered for the calculation (p < 0.001). However, with neither of these two analysis modes, the differences in progression between the treatment groups were statistically significant. In the follow-up angiograms, a total of 196 new coronary lesions (185 stenoses, 11 occlusions) were found at previously normal arterial sites. In patients on nifedipine, an average of only 0.58 new lesions per patient were detected versus 0,80 lesions per patient on placebo (-27%; p=0.031). INTACT is the first prospective angiographic trial on the progression of coronary artery disease using computer-assisted quantitative coronary angiography in such a high number of patients. All parameters analyzed indicated significant progression of coronary artery sclerosis. Nifedipine had no influence on the progression of preexisting coronary stenoses, but inhibited significantly the formation of new angiographically recognizable lesions. Further prospective coronary angiographic trials with calcium channel blockers using a comparably exact method are needed to confirm the results of this study.

atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, INTACT, nifedipine, progression, quantitative coronary angiography,
International Journal of Cardiac Imaging
Department of Cardiology

Jost, S, Deckers, J.W, Rafflenbeul, W, Hecker, M, Reiber, J.H.C, Nikutta, P, … Lichtlen, P. (1990). International nifedipine trial on anti-atherosclerotic therapy (INTACT) - methodologic implications and results of a coronary angiographic follow-up study using computer-assisted film analysis. International Journal of Cardiac Imaging, 6(2), 117–133. doi:10.1007/BF02398895