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Pretreatment with statins enhances myocardial protection during coronary revascularization

Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
DOI: 10.1067/mtc.2003.177
  • Chemistry


Abstract Objective: This experimental study was undertaken to determine whether pretreatment with statins would enhance myocardial protection and minimize ischemic injury during revascularization of acutely ischemic myocardium. Methods: In 20 pigs the second and third diagonal arteries were occluded for 90 minutes, followed by 45 minutes of blood cardioplegic arrest and 180 minutes of reperfusion. Ten pigs received atorvastatin (40 mg orally every day) for 21 days before surgical intervention; 10 others received no statins. Ischemic damage was assessed on the basis of the need for cardioversions for ventricular arrhythmias, regional wall-motion scores (4 = normal to −1 = dyskinesia) were determined by means of 2-dimensional echocardiography, endothelial function was assessed on the basis of bradykinin-induced coronary artery relaxation, and infarct size was calculated by determining the area of necrosis to the area of risk by means of histochemical staining. Results are given as means ± SE. Results: Statin-treated animals required fewer cardioversions (0.11 ± 0.01 vs 2.87 ± 0.20, P = .0001), had improved wall-motion scores (2.81 ± 0.10 vs 1.52 ± 0.08, P = .01), had lower infarct size (21% ± 2% vs 41% ± 2%, P = .0001), and had more complete coronary artery relaxation (34% ± 5% vs 8% ± 4%, P = .01). Total serum cholesterol levels were similar between the groups (62 ± 5 mg/dL for statin-treated animals vs 68 ± 5 mg/dL for non-statin-treated animals, P = .30). Conclusions: Pretreatment with statins enhances myocardial protection during revascularization by means of mechanisms that are independent of their cholesterol-lowering properties. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2003;125:1037-42

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