News | February 18, 2008

Statin Pretreatment Improves Myocardial Perfusion Post Angioplasty

February 19, 2008 - Among patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), prior statin therapy is associated with better perfusion after primary angioplasty of the infarct-related artery, according to a report in the January 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Recent studies have demonstrated the benefits of statin therapy on endothelial function, inflammation, and platelet activation in patients with stable atherosclerosis, the authors point out.

Rainer Hoffmann, M.D., and colleagues from University Hospital RWTH, Aachen, Germany, sought to determine whether pretreatment with statins decreased inflammatory activity and improved myocardial perfusion in 253 consecutive patients undergoing primary angioplasty within 12 hours of AMI.

The 86 patients who had been taking a statin for at least a week before the MI were more likely to show normal myocardial perfusion and less likely to show impaired perfusion after angioplasty than were the 167 control patients, the investigators report.

Statin-treated patients had a lower frequency of increased C-reactive protein level on admission compared with control patients.

Independent predictors of normal myocardial perfusion in a multivariate regression analysis included age of 70 years or less, non-increased C-reactive protein, and statin pretreatment.

"This was not a prospective randomized study," the researchers noted. "However, unless a large population-based study is performed, it will be impossible to define in a randomized fashion the impact of statin pretreatment for patients developing AMI because of the relatively low incidence of AMI in a healthy population."

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