The potential relevance of the multiple lipid-independent (pleiotropic) effects of statins in the management of acute coronary syndromes

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Oct 18;46(8):1425-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2005.05.086.


Emerging data suggest that acute presentations of coronary artery disease may involve a complex interplay between the vessel wall, inflammatory cells, and the coagulation cascade. Although a culprit thrombotic lesion may be treated effectively by antithrombotic therapy and revascularization, this will have little effect on the global processes that determine recurrent events at non-culprit sites. Thus, additional systemic treatment is required to modulate the adverse biological features that are the hallmark of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Statins possess multiple beneficial effects that are independent of low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering and that have favorable effects on inflammation, the endothelium, and the coagulation cascade. In the Pravastatin or Atorvastatin Evaluation and Infection Therapy-Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction 22 (PROVE IT-TIMI 22) trial, differences were seen based on achieved LDL-C that could be further discriminated by the achieved C-reactive protein level. Studies of non-vascular disease such as multiple sclerosis have shown that statins reduce inflammation, supporting the presence of lipid-independent effects of statins. This review focuses on the potential importance of these effects in the management of ACS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Angina, Unstable / drug therapy*
  • Angina, Unstable / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Infarction / immunology
  • Syndrome


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors