Efficacy of Allopurinol in Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Waqas Ullah, Shristi Khanal, Rozi Khan, Bikash Basyal, Samavia Munir, Artem Minalyan, M. Chadi Alraies, David L. Fischman


Background: Given current evidence, the use of allopurinol for the prevention of major cardiovascular events (acute cardiovascular syndrome (ACS) or cardiovascular mortality) in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), after index ACS or heart failure remains unknown.

Methods: Multiple databases were queried to identify studies comparing the efficacy of allopurinol in patients undergoing CABG, after ACS or heart failure. The unadjusted odds ratio (OR) was calculated using a random effect model.

Results: A total of nine studies comprising 850 patients (allopurinol 480, control 370) were identified. The pooled OR of periprocedural ACS (OR: 0.25, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.06 - 0.96, P = 0.05) and cardiovascular mortality (OR: 0.22, 95% CI: 0.07 - 0.71, P = 0.01) was significantly lower in patients receiving allopurinol during CABG compared to patients in the control group. The overall number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent one ACS event was 11 (95% CI: 7 - 28), while the NNT to prevent one death was 24 (95% CI: 13 - 247). By contrast, the odds of cardiovascular mortality in the allopurinol group were not significantly different from the control group in patients on long-term allopurinol after ACS or heart failure (OR: 0.33, 95% CI: 0.01 - 8.21, P = 0.50) and (OR: 1.12, 95% CI: 0.39 - 3.20, P = 0.83), respectively. Similarly, the use of allopurinol did not reduce the odds of recurrent ACS events at 2 years (OR: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.03 - 3.18, P = 0.33).

Conclusions: Periprocedural use of allopurinol might be associated with a significant reduction in the odds of ACS and cardiovascular mortality in patients undergoing CABG. Allopurinol, however, offers no long-term benefits in terms of secondary prevention of ACS or mortality. Larger scale studies are needed to validate our findings.

Cardiol Res. 2020;11(4):226-232
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/cr1066


Allopurinol; ACS; CABG; Heart failure

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