Effects of statin treatment on endothelial function, oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with arterial hypertension and normal cholesterol levels

Journal of Hypertension, 08/26/2011

Fluvastatin treatment did not improve endothelial function, oxidative stress or inflammation in patients with arterial hypertension and normal LDL–cholesterol levels. These data argue against the usefulness of statins in patients with arterial hypertension in the absence of hypercholesterolemia or other additional risk factors.

Methods

  • In a cross–over designed, double–blind randomized trial.
  • 26 patients with arterial hypertension and LDL–cholesterol below 160mg/dl were treated for 2 weeks with either placebo or fluvastatin 80mg/day.
  • Endothelium–dependent vasodilation (EDV) was assessed as the forearm blood flow (FBF) response to intra–arterial infusion of acetylcholine (ACH, 12 and 48μg/min), and endothelium–independent vasodilation (EIV) as the FBF response to nitroprusside (3.2 and 12.8μg/min).
  • Furthermore, authors measured reduced to oxidized glutathione (GSH/GSSG) ratio in red blood cells, total antioxidant capacity in plasma (TAC) and high–sensitivity C–reactive protein (hs–CRP) levels.

Results

  • Fluvastatin lowered LDL–cholesterol from 118±16 to 90±25mg/dl (P<0.0001), but had no effect on blood pressure, high–density lipoprotein (HDL)–cholesterol or triglycerides.
  • EDV and EIV were unaffected by fluvastatin treatment (e.g. increase of FBF 48μg/min: 339±285% during placebo versus 268±194% during fluvastatin, n.s.).
  • Finally, GSH/GSSG ratio, TAC and hs–CRP levels were similar between fluvastatin and placebo treatment.

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