Statins reduce extensive aortic atheromas in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms

Masaru Nemoto, Katsuyuki Hoshina, Toshio Takayama, Sumio Miura, Tatsu Nakazawa, Masaaki Kato, Kunihiro Shigematsu, Tetsuro Miyata, Toshiaki Watanabe
Annals of Vascular Diseases 2013, 6 (4): 711-7

OBJECTIVE: Statins have been used widely to reduce dyslipidemia and recently have been reported to have pleiotropic effects such as plaque reduction and stabilization. This study retrospectively evaluated the regression of extensive thoracic atheromas ("shaggy aorta") in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) patients who underwent contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) before and after statin administration.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: CECT was used to examine thoracic aortas of 29 patients (statin group; n = 22, non-statin group; n = 7) with extensive atheromas from the ostium of the left subclavian artery to that of the more proximal renal artery. Extensive thoracic atheroma was defined by: (1) thickness >5 mm, (2) involved circumference of thoracic aorta >50%, and (3) length >30 mm. The areas of atheroma (cm(2)) were measured before and after administration of statins, and the atheroma reduction ratio (ARR) was evaluated.

RESULTS: The area of atheroma decreased after administration of statins, and the ARR was significant (P <0.01). The ARR increased with all cases in non-statin group. No complications associated with extensive atheroma were observed during the follow-up period.

CONCLUSION: This pilot study indicates statins can reduce extensive thoracic atheromas and lower lipid concentrations.

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