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01.03.2012 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 3/2012

Clinical Research in Cardiology 3/2012

Thiamine supplementation in symptomatic chronic heart failure: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over pilot study

Clinical Research in Cardiology > Ausgabe 3/2012
Andreas W. Schoenenberger, Renate Schoenenberger-Berzins, Christoph Auf der Maur, Paolo M. Suter, Athanasios Vergopoulos, Paul Erne
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00392-011-0376-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A. W. Schoenenberger and R. Schoenenberger-Berzins are equally contributed to the manuscript.
Clinical Trial Registration The study is registered at (NCT 00770107).



Diuretic treatment for heart failure may lead to an increased urinary thiamine excretion and in long-term thiamine deficiency, which may further compromise cardiac function. This study evaluated the effect of high dose thiamine supplementation in heart failure patients.


Nine patients with diuretic treatment for symptomatic chronic heart failure and a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <40% were randomly assigned to receive thiamine (300 mg/day) or placebo for 28 days. After a wash-out of 6 weeks, the patients crossed-over to a second treatment period. The primary outcome was a change in LVEF.


Mean age was 56.7 ± 9.2 years (range 44.9–75.4 years). Baseline LVEF was similar for both treatment groups (29.5% in the thiamine group and 29.5% in the placebo group, P = 0.911). After 28 days of thiamine treatment, the LVEF increased to 32.8% which was significantly (P = 0.024) different from the LVEF in the placebo group (28.8%). This corresponds to a treatment effect for LVEF of 3.9% in absolute terms.


This study suggests that thiamine supplementation has beneficial effects on cardiac function in patients with diuretic drugs for symptomatic chronic heart failure. Subclinical thiamine deficiency is probably an underestimated issue in these outpatients.

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