Factors underlying regression of coronary atheroma with potent statin therapy

Rishi Puri, Steven E. Nissen, Christie M. Ballantyne, Phillip J. Barter, M. John Chapman, Raimund Erbel, Peter Libby, Joel S. Raichlen, Julie St. John, Kathy Wolski, Kiyoko Uno, Yu Kataoka, Stephen J. Nicholls

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50 Citations (Scopus)


AimsStatins can inhibit the progression of coronary atherosclerosis. We aimed to characterize clinical factors that associate with differing measures of coronary atheroma volume following potent statin therapy.Methods and resultsSATURN employed serial intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) to monitor changes in measures of coronary atheroma burden [total atheroma volume (TAV) and per cent atheroma volume (PAV)] in 1039 patients with coronary artery disease, treated with rosuvastatin (40 mg) or atorvastatin (80 mg) daily for 24 months. Rosuvastatin-treated patients demonstrated greater reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, 47 vs. 40%, P < 0.001) and greater increases in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, 13 vs. 10%, P = 0.02). These alterations in the lipid profile associated with greater TAV (-6.4 vs.-4.4 mm 3 , P = 0.01), but not PAV (-1.22 vs.-0.99%, P = 0.17) regression. Greater TAV reductions with rosuvastatin vs. atorvastatin occurred in patients with diabetes (P = 0.01, treatment by diabetic status interaction P-value 0.05). Greater PAV reductions with rosuvastatin were evident in females (P = 0.01, treatment by sex interaction P-value 0.03) and in those with greater than or equal to median baseline LDL-C (P = 0.02, treatment by LDL-C group interaction P-value 0.03) or HDL-C levels (P = 0.02, treatment by HDL-C group interaction P-value 0.04). On multivariable analysis assessing change in TAV and PAV, both higher baseline TAV and PAV independently associated with TAV and PAV regression, respectively (standardized estimates: TAV-0.25, P < 0.001; PAV-0.23, P < 0.001).ConclusionHigher-risk patients, particularly those with greater baseline coronary atheroma volume, are more likely to experience less disease progression with potent statin therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1818-1825b
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • IVUS
  • Risk factors
  • Statins

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