Role of statin in atrial fibrillation-related stroke: an angiographic study for collateral flow

Cerebrovasc Dis. 2014;37(2):77-84. doi: 10.1159/000356114. Epub 2014 Jan 16.


Background: Currently, intensive lipid lowering is recommended in patients with atherosclerotic ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. However, the role of statin in cardioembolic stroke is unclear. We investigated the association of statin with pretreatment collateral status in cardioembolic stroke.

Methods: A collaborative study from two stroke centers in distinct geographic regions included consecutive patients with acute middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction due to atrial fibrillation (AF) who underwent cerebral angiography. The relationship between pretreatment collateral grade and the use/dose of statin at stroke onset was assessed. The angiographic collateral grade was evaluated according to the ASITN/SIR Collateral Flow Grading System.

Results: Ninety-eight patients (76 statin-naïve, 22 statin users) were included. Compared with statin-naïve patients, statin users were older and more frequently had hypertension, hyperlipidemia and coronary heart disease. Excellent collaterals (grade 3-4) were more frequently observed in statin users (11 patients, 50%) than in statin-naïve patients (21 patients, 27.6%; p = 0.049). The use of atorvastatin 10 mg equivalent or higher doses of statin was associated with excellent collaterals (p for trend = 0.025). In multiple regression analysis, prestroke statin use was independently associated with excellent collaterals (odds ratio, 7.841; 95% confidence interval, CI, 1.96-31.363; p = 0.004).

Conclusions: Premorbid use of statin in AF patients is associated with excellent collateral flow. Although most statin trials excluded patients with cardioembolic stroke, our data suggests the possibility that statin may be beneficial in AF-related stroke

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods
  • Collateral Circulation / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / drug therapy*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors