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Clinical Trial Summary

The Val-CARD trial aims to answer the question: "Does the drug sodium valproate reduce complications affecting the heart and kidneys in patients having heart operations?" Sodium valproate is a drug commonly used in the treatment of epilepsy. Recently it has been shown to protect against heart and kidney damage in laboratory tests. This has led to trials evaluating whether it can prevent heart and kidney damage in patients. The investigators wish to evaluate whether treatment with sodium valproate for a short period can reduce levels of organ damage following heart surgery by measuring this in blood tests, exercise tests, a special x-ray measuring body fat content, a walk exercise and muscle strength tests. The investigators now want to establish if sodium valproate works by making the heart and kidney more resistant to any injury that results from the use of the heart lung machine.


Clinical Trial Description

This trial is a single centre, unblinded, randomised controlled trial of pre-surgery sodium valproate versus standard care (no treatment). The trial has two phases. In the first phase - the dose finding phase, 40 patients will be randomised (1:1:1:1) to three different treatment doses versus a control group of standard care (no treatment). A single sodium valproate dose will be selected based on the evaluation of compliance, toxicity and levels of Histone Deacetylase inhibition. In the second phase, the efficacy of this dose at preventing myocardial and kidney injury will then be compared to untreated controls using a 1:1 randomised parallel group design in a further 82 patients. In an optional research procedure during the efficacy phase of the trial (Phase 2) cardiometabolic status (cardiac function and visceral adiposity) will be evaluated using MRI scanning.

Patients will be screened by the investigators to assess eligibility for entry into the trial. Eligible patients undergoing cardiac surgery with CPB who consent to participate will be randomly allocated using concealed allocation as follows:

In the dose finding phase of the trial patient will be randomised in a 1:1:1:1 ratio to:

1. GROUP A: Standard care (no treatment)

2. GROUP B: Sodium valproate at a target dose of 15 mg/kg per day for 1-2 weeks pre-surgery.

3. Group C: Sodium valproate at a target dose of 15 mg/kg per day for 4-6 weeks pre-surgery.

4. Group D: Sodium valproate at a target dose of 25 mg/kg per day for 4-6 weeks pre-surgery.

In the efficacy phase of the trial patients will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio to:

1. GROUP A: Standard care (no treatment)

2. GROUP B, C or D: Sodium valproate at a target dose as determined by the dose finding phase of the trial.

The Val-CARD Trial proposes to test the overarching hypothesis that pre-surgery administration of sodium valproate will protect patients against organ damage that occurs during cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.

The trial will test a number of specific hypotheses:

1. Pre-surgery sodium valproate will reduce the risk of post cardiac surgery organ failure.

2. Short-term (1-2 weeks) pre-surgery treatment with sodium valproate at a target dose of 15mg/kg/day will have different pharmacokinetics but comparable tolerability and protective effects on myocardial and renal signaling to long-term (4-6 weeks) treatment at a target dose of 15mg/kg/ day or 25mg/kg/day.

3. Sodium valproate will reduce the risk of post cardiac surgery myocardial injury by increasing the expression of genes that promote myocardial mitochondrial homeostasis via effects on chromatin histone deacetylation.

4. Sodium valproate will reduce the risk of post cardiac surgery acute kidney injury (AKI) by increasing the expression of genes that promote renal tubular homeostasis.

5. Sodium valproate will reduce the risk of post cardiac surgery endothelial dysfunction by increasing the expression of genes that promote endothelial homeostasis.

6. The trial interventions will be tolerated by patients and will not result in long-term adverse changes in cardiometabolic status. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT03825250
Study type Interventional
Source University of Leicester
Contact Marius Roman, MD
Phone +44(0)1162525841
Email mariusroman@nhs.net
Status Recruiting
Phase Phase 1/Phase 2
Start date November 6, 2018
Completion date February 2022

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