Intermittent doses of statin in hemodialysis patients with spontaneous low LDL cholesterol levels

Arq Bras Cardiol. 2008 Feb;90(2):104-11. doi: 10.1590/s0066-782x2008000200007.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Background: Mortality in dialysis patients remains high and is due mainly to cardiovascular causes. Inflammation has a role in the genesis of accelerated atherosclerosis, vascular calcification, malnutrition and anemia, and a huge impact on the survival of these patients. The pleiotropic effects of statins can be a therapeutic option for reducing chronic inflammatory processes of patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of low doses of simvastatin on inflammatory markers, hematimetric and nutritional parameters of patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Methods: Clinically-stable patients undergoing hemodialysis were classified according to their baseline LDL-cholesterol levels in two groups: those with levels below 100mg/dl (Group 1) and those with levels equal to or greater than 100mg/dl (Group-2), and were treated with simvastatin during eight weeks. Group 1 received 20mg only after each session of hemodialysis (intermittent dose), whereas Group 2 received 20mg/daily. Laboratory data, erythropoietin resistance index and nutritional parameters were obtained before and after treatment.

Results: A significant and equivalent reduction in C-reactive protein levels in both groups was observed (35.97+/-49.23% vs 38.32+/-32.69%, p=0.86). In group 1, there was also a tendency towards reduced resistance to erythropoietin (228.6+/-16.2 vs 208.9+/-16.2, p=0.058) and improvement of hematimetric parameters (hematocrit: 33.1+/-5.9% vs 36.1+/-4.5%, p=0.021).

Conclusion: Intermittent doses proved to be as effective as the usual dose in reducing C-reactive protein levels and resistance to erythropoietin, besides improving the hematimetric parameters, indicating an important reduction of the cardiovascular risk evaluated by these parameters.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia / metabolism
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance
  • Erythropoietin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / drug therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status / drug effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Simvastatin / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hemoglobins
  • Erythropoietin
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Simvastatin