Statin loading before coronary artery bypass grafting: a randomized trial

Eur Heart J. 2023 Jul 1;44(25):2322-2331. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehad238.


Aims: Evidence suggests that a high-dose statin loading before a percutaneous coronary revascularization improves outcomes in patients receiving long-term statins. This study aimed to analyse the effects of such an additional statin therapy before surgical revascularization.

Methods and results: This investigator-initiated, randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trial was conducted from November 2012 to April 2019 at 14 centres in Germany. Adult patients (n = 2635) with a long-term statin treatment (≥30 days) who were scheduled for isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) were randomly assigned to receive a statin-loading therapy or placebo at 12 and 2 h prior to surgery using a web-based system. The primary outcome of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) was a composite consisting of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), and a cerebrovascular event occuring within 30 days after surgery. Key secondary endpoints included a composite of cardiac death and MI, myocardial injury, and death within 12 months. Non-statistically relevant differences were found in the modified intention-to-treat analysis (2406 patients; 1203 per group) between the statin (13.9%) and placebo groups (14.9%) for the primary outcome [odds ratio (OR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74-1.18; P = 0.562] or any of its individual components. Secondary endpoints including cardiac death and MI (12.1% vs. 13.5%; OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.69-1.12; P = 0.300), the area under the troponin T-release curve (median 0.398 vs. 0.394 ng/ml, P = 0.333), and death at 12 months (3.1% vs. 2.9%; P = 0.825) were comparable between treatment arms.

Conclusion: Additional statin loading before CABG failed to reduce the rate of MACCE occuring within 30 days of surgery.

Keywords: Cardiac surgery; Coronary artery bypass grafting; HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors; Statins.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / methods
  • Coronary Artery Disease*
  • Death
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors* / therapeutic use
  • Myocardial Infarction* / etiology
  • Myocardial Infarction* / prevention & control
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / methods
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors