Objectives: This analysis from the LUNAR (Limiting UNdertreatment of lipids in ACS with Rosuvastatin) study assessed lipid changes 1 to 4 days after onset of acute coronary syndromes (ACS), before initiation of study treatment.
Background: Early studies indicated that cholesterol levels decrease significantly after ACS. However, most studies were small or did not measure low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) directly, and many used nonfasting or retrospective data. More recent studies suggest less pronounced changes in cholesterol levels after ACS.
Methods: The LUNAR trial is a prospective, multicenter, randomized, open-label study in adults hospitalized for acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), non-STEMI, or unstable angina (UA). Blood samples were taken at median times after onset of ACS symptoms of 26 h (Day 1, fasting or nonfasting sample), 43 h (Day 2, fasting sample), and 84 h (Day 4, fasting sample) for direct measurement of serum lipid levels before study treatments were started.
Results: Of 507 patients available for analysis, 212 were admitted for STEMI, 176 for non-STEMI, and 119 for UA. The LDL-C levels decreased in the 24 h after admission (from 136.2 to 133.5 mg/dl), followed by an increase over the subsequent 2 days (to 141.8 mg/dl). These changes did not seem to be clinically meaningful. Similar changes were observed for total cholesterol and smaller changes for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; fasting triglyceride levels did not change.
Conclusions: Mean lipid levels vary relatively little in the 4 days after an ACS and can be used to guide selection of lipid-lowering medication.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00214630.