Premorbid use of statins is associated with higher recanalization rates in patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing endovascular treatment

J Neuroimaging. 2009 Jan;19(1):19-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6569.2008.00319.x. Epub 2008 Nov 6.


Background and purpose: Statins have been shown to have lipid-independent (pleiotropic) effects that may be beneficial in the management of vascular disease. We evaluated the effect of premorbid statin use on recanalization in patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing endovascular treatment.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients who had undergone endovascular treatment for acute ischemic stroke at our institution. Computed tomography scans obtained after treatment were assessed for the presence of hemorrhagic transformation by an independent reviewer. The primary endpoint was partial or complete recanalization (at least 1 grade improvement in the Qureshi scale). Secondary endpoints were hemorrhagic transformation and neurological improvement. Multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of premorbid statin use after adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: Seventy-seven patients fulfilled our inclusion criteria (mean age 66 +/- 14, 38 were men) and among them 12 were on statins. The patients who were on statins had a higher recanalization rate (11/12 vs. 33/65, P= .02). This finding was confirmed by logistic regression analysis (odds ratio 17.25, 95% confidence interval 1.67-177.43). There was no significant difference between the two groups regarding neurological improvement and hemorrhagic transformation.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that patients on statins have higher recanalization rates when they undergo endovascular procedures for acute ischemic stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors