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Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 7

Clinical research
Effect of atorvastatin therapy on borderline vulnerable lesions in patients with acute coronary syndrome

Dan-Qing Yu
Shu-Guang Lin
Ji-Yan Chen
Ling Xue
Guang Li
Hao-Jian Dong
Ying-Ling Zhou

Arch Med Sci 2011; 7, 3: 433-439
Online publish date: 2011/07/11
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Introduction : It is still controversial whether borderline lesions with a vulnerable plaque should be stented early or simply treated pharmacologically. No data exist concerning the potential effects of statin therapy on borderline vulnerable lesions in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Material and methods : Fifty patients with ACS whose culprit lesions were classified as “borderline lesions” were enrolled. All patients were treated with atorvastatin (20 mg) for 12 months. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) was performed and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), and high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels were measured at baseline and 12-month follow-up.

Results : At 12-month follow-up, we found: 1) IVUS revealed that minimal lumen cross-sectional area (CSA) increased but plaque/media (P&M) area and plaque burden decreased. A total of 25 soft plaques (50%) were transformed into fibrous plaques. 2) ApoB, MMP-9 and hsCRP levels decreased, but TIMP-1 level increased. 3) Stepwise multivariate linear regression analysis showed that the independent predictors for changes in P&M area/year were the decrease in MMP-9 and hsCRP levels.

Conclusions : Atorvastatin therapy stabilized borderline vulnerable plaques and reversed atherosclerosis progression in patients with ACS. Reversal of this progression was accompanied by a decrease in the levels of plasma MMP-9 and hsCRP. Changes in MMP-9 and hsCRP could predict vulnerable plaque stabilization.

intravascular ultrasound, atorvastatin, acute coronary syndrome, vulnerable plaque

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