top of page

RCT: Traditional Chinese Medicine Compound (Tongxinluo) for Acute Myocardial Infarction

Importance Tongxinluo, a traditional Chinese medicine compound, has shown promise in in vitro, animal, and small human studies for myocardial infarction, but has not been rigorously evaluated in large randomized clinical trials.

Objective To investigate whether Tongxinluo could improve clinical outcomes in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Design, Setting, and Participants Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted among patients with STEMI within 24 hours of symptom onset from 124 hospitals in China. Patients were enrolled from May 2019 to December 2020; the last date of follow-up was December 15, 2021.

Interventions Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive either Tongxinluo or placebo orally for 12 months (a loading dose of 2.08g after randomization, followed by the maintenance dose of 1.04 g, 3 times a day), in addition to STEMI guideline-directed treatments.

Main Outcomes and Measures The primary end point was 30-day major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCEs), a composite of cardiac death, myocardial reinfarction, emergent coronary revascularization, and stroke. Follow-up for MACCEs occurred every 3 months to 1 year.

Results Among 3797 patients who were randomized, 3777 (Tongxinluo: 1889 and placebo: 1888; mean age, 61 years; 76.9% male) were included in the primary analysis. Thirty-day MACCEs occurred in 64 patients (3.4%) in the Tongxinluo group vs 99 patients (5.2%) in the control group (relative risk [RR], 0.64 [95% CI, 0.47 to 0.88]; risk difference [RD], −1.8% [95% CI, −3.2% to −0.6%]). Individual components of 30-day MACCEs, including cardiac death (56 [3.0%] vs 80 [4.2%]; RR, 0.70 [95% CI, 0.50 to 0.99]; RD, −1.2% [95% CI, −2.5% to −0.1%]), were also significantly lower in the Tongxinluo group than the placebo group. By 1 year, the Tongxinluo group continued to have lower rates of MACCEs (100 [5.3%] vs 157 [8.3%]; HR, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.49 to 0.82]; RD, −3.0% [95% CI, −4.6% to −1.4%]) and cardiac death (85 [4.5%] vs 116 [6.1%]; HR, 0.73 [95% CI, 0.55 to 0.97]; RD, −1.6% [95% CI, −3.1% to −0.2%]). There were no significant differences in other secondary end points including 30-day stroke; major bleeding at 30 days and 1 year; 1-year all-cause mortality; and in-stent thrombosis (<24 hours; 1-30 days; 1-12 months). More adverse drug reactions occurred in the Tongxinluo group than the placebo group (40 [2.1%] vs 21 [1.1%]; P = .02), mainly driven by gastrointestinal symptoms.

Conclusions and Relevance In patients with STEMI, the Chinese patent medicine Tongxinluo, as an adjunctive therapy in addition to STEMI guideline-directed treatments, significantly improved both 30-day and 1-year clinical outcomes. Further research is needed to determine the mechanism of action of Tongxinluo in STEMI.

Trial Registration Identifier: NCT03792035

Source: Yang Y, Li X, Chen G, et al. Traditional Chinese Medicine Compound (Tongxinluo) and Clinical Outcomes of Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction: The CTS-AMI Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2023;330(16):1534–1545. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.19524


bottom of page