Effect of statin treatment on vasospasm, delayed cerebral ischemia, and functional outcome in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: a systematic review and meta-analysis update

Mervyn D I Vergouwen, Rob J de Haan, Marinus Vermeulen, Yvo B W E M Roos
Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation 2010, 41 (1): e47-52

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A recent meta-analysis investigating the efficacy of statin treatment in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage reported a reduced incidence of vasospasm, delayed cerebral ischemia, and mortality in statin-treated patients. However, the meta-analysis was criticized for its methodology, and several retrospective studies found no beneficial effect. We present the results of a new systematic review, which differs from the previous systematic review in its methodology, and by inclusion of the results of a fourth randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Summary of Review- All randomized, placebo-controlled trials investigating the effect of statins on vasospasm, delayed cerebral ischemia, and functional outcome in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage were included. Outcomes were the number of patients with transcranial Doppler vasospasm, delayed cerebral ischemia, poor outcome, and mortality during follow-up. Effect sizes were expressed in (pooled) risk ratio estimates. Data were pooled using random-effects models.

RESULTS: In 4 studies, a total of 190 patients were included. No statistically significant effect was observed on transcranial Doppler vasospasm (pooled risk ratio, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.66 to 1.48]), delayed cerebral ischemia (pooled risk ratio, 0.57 [95% CI, 0.29 to 1.13]), poor outcome (pooled risk ratio, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.68 to 1.24]), or mortality (pooled risk ratio, 0.37 [95% CI, 0.13 to 1.10]).

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present systematic review do not lend statistically significant support to the finding of a beneficial effect of statins in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage as reported in a previous meta-analysis.

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