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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2010 Mar;39(3):258-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2009.11.013. Epub 2009 Dec 8.

Beneficial changes of serum calcification markers and contralateral carotid plaques echogenicity after combined carotid artery stenting plus intensive lipid-lowering therapy in patients with bilateral carotid stenosis.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Hippokratio General Hospital of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece. nikoskad@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES/DESIGN:

In symptomatic patients treated with ipsilateral carotid artery stenting (CAS) plus intensive lipid lowering, we assessed the changes of osteopontin (OPN), osteoprotegerin (OPG) and the Gray-Scale Median (GSM) score contralateral to symptomatic carotid stenosis.

MATERIALS/METHODS:

Forty-six symptomatic patients (group A) with significant carotid stenosis (North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET): >70%) underwent ipsilateral CAS. Those patients had simultaneously contralateral low-grade carotid stenosis (NASCET: 30-69%). Group B included 67 symptomatic patients with low-grade bilateral carotid stenosis (NASCET: 30-69%), but without indications for revascularisation. All patients were treated with atorvastatin (10-80mg) to target low-density lipoprotein (LDL)<100mgdl(-1). Blood samples and plaques' GSM score contralateral to brain infarct were assayed at baseline and after 6 months.

RESULTS:

At baseline, there were no significant differences between groups (p>0.05). Six-month atorvastatin treatment equivalently improved lipid profile in both groups (p<0.05). The parameters hsCRP, OPN and OPG were significantly down-regulated within both groups, but to a greater extent in group A (p<0.05). Besides this, contralateral GSM score was significantly improved from baseline in both groups (p<0.01), but that increment was more pronounced in group A (vs. group B; p=0.041). These changes were inversely correlated with changes in OPN (p=0.014), OPG (p=0.011) and LDL (p=0.041).

CONCLUSION:

Ipsilateral CAS plus intensive lipid-lowering therapy was associated with enhanced contralateral carotid plaque stability and attenuated inflammatory burden and calcification inhibitors to a greater extent than atorvastatin therapy alone in patients with bilateral carotid stenosis.

Copyright 2009 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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