BACKGROUND: Myocardial ischemia may recur in a significant subset of patients following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Lycopene, a carotenoid with antioxidant activity, has evidence for beneficial effects on cardiovascular system. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the possible preventive effect of lycopene against post-PCI myocardial damage by detection of cardiac biomarkers of ischemia.METHODS: A total of 45 patients who planned to undergo elective PCI were randomly assigned to two groups to receive either lycopene (30 mg 12 hours before PCI as well as 15 mg just before and 8 hours after PCI) along with standard treatment (n = 23) or only standard treatment (n = 22). Standard treatment included aspirin, a statin, and a beta-blocker. The serum levels of creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), troponin I, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were measured 12 hours before and 12 hours after the procedure and were compared between the two groups.RESULTS: The use of lycopene significantly prevented the increase of CK-MB following PCI compared to control (P = 0.048). However, it had not any significant effect on serum levels of troponin I (TnI) (P = 0.176) and hs-CRP (P = 0.186) compared to control.CONCLUSION: Lycopene can prevent the increase of CK-MB following PCI. Therefore, it has the potential for prevention of post-PCI cardiovascular events. However, more studies are needed to confirm such an effect.