Objectives: Statins, beyond their lipid lowering role, exert beneficial effect on endothelial function in patients with atherosclerosis. Aim of the present study was to examine the short term pleiotropic effects of different doses of atorvastatin treatment, on endothelial function, arterial stiffness and indices of left ventricular remodeling in heart failure (HF) patients.
Methods: We studied the effect of 4 weeks administration of atorvastatin in 22 patients with ischemic HF. The study was carried out on two separate arms, one with atorvastatin 40 mg/d and one with atorvastatin 10 mg/d (randomized, double-blind, cross-over design). Endothelial function was evaluated by flow mediated dilation (FMD) in the brachial artery and arterial stiffness by augmentation index (AIx). Serum levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) were measured as biomarkers of left ventricular remodeling and endothelial function, respectively, while, b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) was measured as a marker of left ventricular function.
Results: Compared to baseline, atorvastatin 40 mg/d significantly improved FMD values (3.18 ± 3.03% vs. 5.98 ± 2.49%, p = 0.001) and AIx values (25.98 ± 8.55% vs. 23.09 ± 8.87%, p = 0.046). In addition, compared to baseline measurements, treatment with atorvastatin 40 mg/d resulted in significantly decreased levels of serum logMMP-9 levels (2.47 ± 0.23 ng/ml vs. 2.39 ± 0.24 ng/ml, p = 0.04) and of logICAM-1 levels (2.46 ± 0.13 ng/ml vs. 2.37 ± 0.16 ng/ml, p < 0.001). No significant changes were found after treatment with atorvastatin 10 mg/d in the aforementioned parameters.
Conclusions: Short term treatment with 40 mg/d of atorvastatin exerts beneficial impact on arterial wall properties and on indices of left ventricle remodeling in heart failure patients.
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