A review of high-dose statin therapy: targeting cholesterol and inflammation in atherosclerosis

Eur Heart J. 2007 Mar;28(6):664-72. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehl445. Epub 2007 Jan 22.


Lipid lowering with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors or 'statins' has dramatically reduced morbidity and mortality in patients with established cardiovascular disease. Recently, there have been multiple studies investigating the role of high-dose statin therapy with more aggressive lipid lowering in this setting. Concomitantly, there is increasing evidence implicating a role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. These high-dose statin trials and other studies have also provided a wealth of data suggesting that statins have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that go beyond their lipid-lowering effects. In this review, we will provide a brief overview of recent, large-scale, randomized, placebo and active controlled trials of high-dose statin therapy in the setting of stable and unstable coronary artery disease and percutaneous coronary intervention. Further, we will discuss the evidence for effects of high-dose statin therapy on inflammation and C-reactive protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteritis / drug therapy*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • C-Reactive Protein