Effect of Statins on Cholesterol Crystallization and Atherosclerotic Plaque Stabilization The American Journal of Cardiology, 06/06/2011
Abela GS et al. - statins decreased ΔVE by altering cholesterol crystallization and blunting sharp-tipped crystal structure and dissolving cholesterol crystals in human arteries in vivo and in vitro, providing plaque stabilization.
- Human coronary, carotid, and peripheral arterial plaques (65 plaques from 55 patients) were incubated with statin or saline solution using matched plaque segments to evaluate direct effects of statins on preformed crystals.
- The effect of in vivo use of oral statins on crystal structure was examined by scanning electron microscopy and crystal content in plaques scored from 0 to +3. For all statins.
- ΔVE decreased significantly in a dose-dependent fashion (0.76 ± 0.1 vs 0 ml at 60 mg, p <0.001).
- By scanning electron microscopy crystal structure with statins had loss of pointed tip geometries, averting fibrous membrane damage.
- Cholesterol crystal density was markedly decreased and appeared dissolved in human plaques incubated with statins (+2.1 ± 1.1 vs +1.3 ± 1.0, p = 0.0001).
- Plaques from patients taking oral statins compared to controls had significantly more dissolving crystals (p = 0.03).