Objective: Reduced arterial compliance is an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality and is commonly encountered in patients with coronary artery disease. Statins may produce cholesterol-independent effects which can result at least in part from direct improvement of the arterial function. In this study, we sought to determine the effect of intensive statin therapy according to the Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines on arterial compliance in dyslipidaemic patients with angiographically-proven CAD selected for medical treatment.
Methods: Patients (n = 33) received atorvastatin 40 mg/day for 6 months. Large arterial compliance and small arterial compliance were measured at baseline and after 6 months of atorvastatin treatment.
Results: After treatment, the large artery elasticity index (LAEI) increased from 11.85 +/- 3.46 to 13.80 +/- 3.95 ml/mm Hg x 100 (P < 0.001) and the small artery elasticity index (SAEI) increased from 3.84 +/- 1.97 to 4.97 +/- 1.98 ml/mm Hg (P = 0.03). There was no correlation between the change in either LAEI or SAEI and other baseline variables or changes in lipid levels.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that intensive statin therapy according to the Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines improves arterial elasticity in CAD patients selected for medical treatment. The beneficial vascular effect of atorvastatin on arterial elasticity was independent of lipid parameters.