Statins reduce peri-procedural complications in carotid stenting

T Reiff, H Amiri, S Rohde, W Hacke, P A Ringleb
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2014, 48 (6): 626-32

BACKGROUND: In primary and secondary prevention, statins significantly reduce cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Pre-interventional statin medication shows a benefit in carotid artery stenosis patients treated with endarterectomy; however, there are few data available for patients treated with stent-angioplasty. The aim of this study was to investigate whether pre-interventional statin therapy is associated with decreased peri-interventional risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, and mortality in patients undergoing stent-angioplasty for internal carotid stenosis.

METHODS: Data for 344 consecutively documented patients with internal carotid artery stenosis treated with stent-angioplasty in the years 2002-2012 at the same stroke center were collected in a prospectively defined database. Risk factors, medication, and indication for therapy were documented. Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed to investigate independent reduction of peri-interventional stroke, myocardial infarction, or death by statin medication prior to stent-angioplasty.

RESULTS: The median age was 70 years (p25: 63, p75: 76), 75.5% of patients were male, and the median stenosis was 85% according to ECST criteria (p25: 80%, p75: 90%). 20.1% of patients had asymptomatic stenoses, and 60.2% had statin medication before stenting. As per multivariate analysis, pre-interventional statin medication was a predictor for significant peri-interventional risk reduction regarding primary endpoint ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), or death (odds ratio (OR) 0.31, p = .006). Statins also had a significant protective effect in secondary endpoint ischemic stroke, intracranial bleeding or death (OR 0.39, p = .014), and ischemic stroke or myocardial infarction (OR 0.20; p = .002).

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that pre-interventional statin medication has a protective effect against peri-interventional stroke, MI, or death in patients with internal carotid artery stenosis treated with stent-angioplasty. Accordingly, statins could be considered as a standard pre-interventional medical therapy in carotid stenting.

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