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Title: Short-term effect of atorvastatin on ischaemic threshold in hypercholesterolaemic patients with stable ischaemic heart disease
Author(s): CLAEYS, Marc J. , COSYNS, Bernard , HOFFER, Etienne , CARLIER, Marc , MISSAULT, Luc , COOLS, Frank , DE MEESTER, Antoine , VERMEERSCH, Paul , GOBIN, Eric , DEWIT, Brigitte
Journal: Acta Cardiologica
Volume: 59    Issue: 3   Date: June 2004   
Pages: 269-274
DOI: 10.2143/AC.59.3.2005181

Abstract :
Objective — Hypercholesterolaemia is associated with a loss of endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which may facilitate the occurrence of myocardial ischaemia in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). The improvement of endothelial dilator function after 4 to 6 weeks of oral lipid-lowering therapy has been documented. Whether this early restoration of endothelial function by statins translates into anti-ischaemic effects is unknown. This study was designed to determine the effect of 4 weeks’ treatment with 80 mg atorvastatin daily on exercise-induced ischaemia in patients with stable ischaemic heart disease (IHD) receiving standard anti-anginal drug therapy.

Methods and results — A total of 41 patients with documented CAD, exercise-induced ischaemia and LDL-cholesterol > 130 mg/dl underwent exercise ECG, angina score and lipid level assessment at baseline, after 4 weeks of placebo treatment, and after 4 weeks of therapy with atorvastatin 80 mg. Primary endpoint was the change in time to 1 mm ST-segment depression (= ischaemic threshold) between placebo and treatment period.
Atorvastatin treatment resulted in a 55% reduction of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (from mean of 162 (SD 32) to 72 (20) mg/dl). For a comparable rate-pressure product, the average time to 1 mm ST-segment depression was 295 (112) s at baseline, 314 (149) s after placebo and 301 (131) s after atorvastatin, indicating that the ischaemic threshold was not significantly modulated after 4 weeks of atorvastatin treatment. There was also no significant change in global angina score or in time to maximal ST-segment depression.

Conclusions — High-dose atorvastatin treatment for 4 weeks drastically reduced LDL-cholesterol. However, the present study did not demonstrate a significant effect on the ischaemic threshold in patients with stable IHD already under treatment with anti-ischaemic agents.

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