The DISCOVERY PENTA Study: A DIrect Statin COmparison of LDL-C Value--an Evaluation of Rosuvastatin therapY Compared With Atorvastatin

Curr Med Res Opin. 2005 Aug;21(8):1307-15. doi: 10.1185/030079905X56529.


Background: International guidelines emphasize the need to achieve recommended low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in order to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). However, many patients with hypercholesterolemia fail to achieve LDL-C goals on treatment.

Objective: The primary objective was to compare the efficacy of rosuvastatin and atorvastatin for enabling patients to achieve National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) LDL-C goals. Secondary objectives were European LDL-C goal achievement, changes in the lipid profile, and safety.

Research design and methods: This 12-week, multicenter, multinational, randomized, open-label trial compared the efficacy and safety of rosuvastatin 10 mg with atorvastatin 10 mg in statin-naïve and switched patients with primary hypercholesterolemia from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Portugal, and Venezuela.

Results: A total of 1124 patients with similar baseline characteristics were randomized to the two treatment groups. After 12 weeks of treatment, a significantly greater percentage of patients receiving rosuvastatin 10 mg compared with atorvastatin 10 mg achieved NCEP ATP III LDL-C goals (71.2% vs 61.4%, p < 0.001), 1998 European LDL-C goals (73.5% vs 59.2%, p < 0.001) and 2003 European LDL-C goals (58.9% vs 44.6%, p < 0.001). Rosuvastatin treatment was associated with significant reductions in LDL-C and total cholesterol (TC) and, in statin-naïve patients, a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) compared with atorvastatin treatment. Both treatments were well tolerated with a similar incidence of adverse events. Clinically significant elevations in creatinine, creatine kinase or hepatic transaminases were low and similar between treatment groups.

Conclusions: Rosuvastatin 10 mg is significantly more effective at achieving NCEP ATP III and European LDL-C goals, lowering LDL-C and TC in both naïve and switched patients and increasing HDL-C in naïve patients than atorvastatin 10mg, with a similar safety and tolerability profile. This study also provides evidence regarding the comparative effects of rosuvastatin versus atorvastatin in Latin American and Portuguese populations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atorvastatin
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / drug effects
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Fluorobenzenes / pharmacology
  • Fluorobenzenes / therapeutic use*
  • Heptanoic Acids / pharmacology
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Program Evaluation
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrroles / pharmacology
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use*
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacology
  • Sulfonamides / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fluorobenzenes
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Pyrimidines
  • Pyrroles
  • Sulfonamides
  • Triglycerides
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium
  • Atorvastatin