Cholesterol lowering with pravastatin improves resistance artery endothelial function: report of six subjects with normal coronary arteriograms

Chest. 2000 Sep;118(3):756-60. doi: 10.1378/chest.118.3.756.


Study objectives: Improvement in coronary artery endothelial function has been demonstrated after cholesterol lowering in hypercholesterolemic patients with significant atherosclerosis. However, to our knowledge, no previous study has shown improvement in resistance artery function in subjects with normal coronary arteries after cholesterol lowering. The purpose of our study was to investigate the effect of cholesterol lowering with pravastatin on coronary resistance artery endothelial function in the setting of angiographically normal coronary arteries.

Methods: Invasive testing of coronary endothelial and vasomotor function was performed at baseline and after 6 months of pravastatin treatment in six patients with normal coronary arteriograms.

Results: After 6 months of pravastatin treatment, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level dropped from 157+/-11 to 117+/-8 mg/dL (p = 0.02) and percent increase in coronary blood flow after acetylcholine improved from 97+/-13% to 160+/-16% (p = 0.01). There was a trend (p = 0.17) toward enhanced epicardial dilation in response to acetylcholine after pravastatin treatment when compared with the baseline study.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates significant improvement in coronary resistance artery endothelial function after 6 months of cholesterol lowering with pravastatin in six subjects presenting with chest pain who were found to have normal coronary arteriograms. A trend toward improved epicardial vasomotion was also observed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Coronary Angiography*
  • Coronary Circulation / drug effects
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology
  • Coronary Vessels / drug effects
  • Coronary Vessels / physiopathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pravastatin / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Factors
  • Vascular Resistance / drug effects*


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Cholesterol
  • Pravastatin