Short-Term Effect of Low-Dose Atorvastatin on Haemorrheological Parameters, Platelet Aggregation and Endothelial Function in Patients with Cerebrovascular Disease and Hyperlipidaemia

Laszlo Szapary, Beata Horvath, Zsolt Marton, Tamas Alexy, Gabor Kesmarky, Tamas Habon, Monika Szots, Katalin Koltai, Istvan Juricskay, Jozsef Czopf, Kalman Toth

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42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction and Objective: Haemorrheological parameters and endothelial function are known to be altered in vascular diseases, including stroke. Treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors ('statins') improves cerebrovascular (and cardiovascular) morbidity and mortality in patients with atherosclerosis; the beneficial effects may involve lipid-independent mechanisms. The aim of this study was to assess the short-term effect of low-dose atorvastatin on haemorrheological parameters, platelet aggregation and endothelial dysfunction in patients with chronic cerebrovascular disease and hyperlipidaemia. Patients and Methods: Twenty-seven patients (mean age 61 ± 8 years) with chronic cerebrovascular disease and hyperlipidaemia were included in the study. Serum lipid levels, haemorrheological parameters (haematocrit, plasma fibrinogen levels, plasma and whole blood viscosity [WBV] and red blood cell [RBC] aggregation and deformability) and platelet aggregation were assessed at baseline and after 1 and 3 months of treatment with atorvastatin (Sortis®) 10 mg/day. von Willebrand factor (vWF) activity (a measure of endothelial function) was measured at baseline and after 1 month of treatment. Adverse events were recorded at each visit. Physical examinations, haematological assessments and serum and urine chemistry assays were performed during the study. Results: Plasma total cholesterol levels were reduced by a mean of 27% compared with baseline after both 1 and 3 months of treatment (p < 0.001). Low density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels were reduced by a mean of 40% and 38% (p < 0.001), respectively, after 1 and 3 months of treatment, compared with baseline values. Triglyceride levels decreased by 20% at 1 month and by 10% after 3 months (p < 0.001). Atorvastatin significantly improved WBV after 3 months of treatment and RBC deformability after 1 month and 3 months of treatment (p < 0.05). Collagen-induced platelet aggregation was significantly decreased at 1 (p < 0.05) and 3 months (p < 0.001) compared with baseline values, despite unaltered antiplatelet therapy. vWF activity was also improved significantly (p < 0.05) after 1 month of treatment. Conclusions: Our findings show that the beneficial effects of atorvastatin are complex. Besides lipid lowering, atorvastatin can improve haemorrheological parameters, platelet aggregation and endothelial dysfunction after short-term and low-dose therapy. Whether such early laboratory changes translate into clinical utility for secondary stroke prevention awaits the results of endpoint trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalCNS Drugs
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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