Improvement of endothelial dysfunction with simvastatin in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease

Ren Fail. 2007;29(1):55-9. doi: 10.1080/08860220601038892.


Cardiovascular problems are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Endothelial dysfunction (ED), which is an early manifestation of vascular injury, has been shown in patients with ADPKD. Statins have a beneficial effect in the reversal of ED. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a statin, simvastatin, on ED in patients with ADPKD. Sixteen patients with ADPKD having well-preserved renal function were included in the study. Endothelial function of the brachial artery was evaluated by using high-resolution vascular ultrasound. Endothelial-dependent dilatation (EDD) was expressed as the percentage change in the brachial artery diameter from baseline to reactive hyperemia. After the baseline evaluations of EDDs, patients were started treatment with simvastatin at a dose of 40 mg/day and were treated for six months. EDDs were recalculated after one and six months of therapy. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were also measured as markers of inflammation. Baseline EDD was 11.3 +/- 6.9% in patients with ADPKD. After one month of simvastatin treatment, EDD increased significantly to 14.6 +/- 4.6 % (P = 0.016 versus baseline). Endothelial-dependent dilatation further increased significantly to 18.9 +/- 7.5 % (P = 0.011 versus baseline, P = 0.048 versus first month) after six months of therapy. There was also a significant decrease in the level of IL-6 from 21.6 +/- 21.7 pg/mL to 9.1 +/- 3.5 pg/mL (P= 0.002). Six months of simvastatin therapy resulted in a significant improvement of ED in patients with ADPKD. This finding may be in part related to the pleiotropic effects of simvastatin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / complications
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / drug therapy*
  • Simvastatin / administration & dosage*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Interleukin-6
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Simvastatin