Effects of statins on early and late results of carotid stenting

Fabio Verzini, Paola De Rango, Gianbattista Parlani, Giuseppe Giordano, Valeria Caso, Enrico Cieri, Giacomo Isernia, Piergiorgio Cao
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2011, 53 (1): 71-9; discussion 79

OBJECTIVES: Increasing data suggest that statins can significantly decrease cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events due to a plaque stabilization effect. However, the benefit of statins in patients undergoing carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) for carotid stenosis is not well defined. The aim of this study was to investigate whether statins use was associated with decreased perioperative and late risks of stroke, mortality, and restenosis in patients undergoing CAS.

METHODS: All patients undergoing CAS for primary carotid stenosis from 2004 to 2009 were reviewed. The independent association of statins and perioperative morbidity was assessed using multivariable analysis. Survival curves and Cox regression models were used to assess late morbidity and restenosis. Propensity score adjustment was employed.

RESULTS: A total of 1083 consecutive CAS were performed (29% females, mean age 71.5 years; 24.7% symptomatic); 465 (43%) were on statins medication before treatment that was not discontinued at discharge. Statins use was associated with a reduction of perioperative stroke and death (odds ratio [OR] 0.327, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.13-0.80, P = .016) according to multivariable analysis. Statins effect was more significant in reducing stroke and death in symptomatic patients (OR 0.13; P = .032) and in males (OR 0.27, P = .01). At 5 years, survival (87.2% vs 78.3%; P = .009) and ischemic stroke-free interval (88.9% vs 99.7%; P = .02) rates were higher in the statins group of patients. Adjusting for propensity score and covariates in Cox regression analyses, statins use was independently associated with reduced long-term mortality risk (HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.32-0.97; P = .039) and borderline associated with decreased late ischemic stroke risk (HR 0.14; 95% CI 0.018-1.08, P = .059). There was no effect on restenosis rates.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that statins use is associated with decreased perioperative and late ischemic strokes risk and reduced mortality rates in patients undergoing CAS. Statins therapy should be considered part of the best medical treatment in current CAS practice.

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