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Statins and Vulnerable Plaque

[ Vol. 23 , Issue. 46 ]

Author(s):

Maria Drakopoulou, Konstantinos Toutouzas*, Archontoula Michelongona and Dimitrios Tousoulis   Pages 7069 - 7085 ( 17 )

Abstract:


Background: Atherosclerosis is a systemic, progressive lipid-driven inflammatory disease of the arterial vascular wall leading progressively to plaque development. The vulnerable plaque, the one considered to be the leading cause of cardiovascular events seems to exhibit a large and soft lipid-rich necrotic core covered by a thin and inflamed fibrous cap. Statin treatment is considered as one of the most effective methods for vulnerable plaque stabilization, currently being the principal drug in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Objective: We sought to evaluate the beneficial effect of statins on biological processes involved in the evolution of vulnerable plaques

Method: We performed a systematic review of the literature searching MEDLINE via Pubmed for all experimental and human studies implementing statins in vulnerable plaque.

Results: Statins seem to have a beneficial role in plaque stabilization and patient outcome. It seems that this effect is mediated by improving endothelial function, decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation, reducing inflammatory activation and inhibiting thrombogenic response. Although these data are quite promising, it remains to be determined the extent of a potent benefit of the pleiotropic effects of statin therapy in clinical setting.

Conclusion: Prospective randomized trials should be conducted in order to further elucidate differences among type and dose of statin therapy, duration of treatment and association with LDL levels and clinical outcome.

Keywords:

Atherosclerosis, vulnerable plaque, statin, imaging modalities, inflammatory disease, drug.

Affiliation:

First Department of Cardiology, Medical School of Athens University, Hippokration Hospital, Athens, First Department of Cardiology, Medical School of Athens University, Hippokration Hospital, Athens, First Department of Cardiology, Medical School of Athens University, Hippokration Hospital, Athens, First Department of Cardiology, Medical School of Athens University, Hippokration Hospital, Athens



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