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PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e25320. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025320. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Atorvastatin therapy during the peri-infarct period attenuates left ventricular dysfunction and remodeling after myocardial infarction.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Institute of Molecular Cardiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America.


Although statins impart a number of cardiovascular benefits, whether statin therapy during the peri-infarct period improves subsequent myocardial structure and function remains unclear. Thus, we evaluated the effects of atorvastatin on cardiac function, remodeling, fibrosis, and apoptosis after myocardial infarction (MI). Two groups of rats were subjected to permanent coronary occlusion. Group II (n = 14) received oral atorvastatin (10 mg/kg/d) daily for 3 wk before and 4 wk after MI, while group I (n = 12) received equivalent doses of vehicle. Infarct size (Masson's trichrome-stained sections) was similar in both groups. Compared with group I, echocardiographic left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and fractional area change (FAC) were higher while LV end-diastolic volume (LVEDV) and LV end-systolic and end-diastolic diameters (LVESD and LVEDD) were lower in treated rats. Hemodynamically, atorvastatin-treated rats exhibited significantly higher dP/dt(max), end-systolic elastance (Ees), and preload recruitable stroke work (PRSW) and lower LV end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP). Morphometrically, infarct wall thickness was greater in treated rats. The improvement of LV function by atorvastatin was associated with a decrease in hydroxyproline content and in the number of apoptotic cardiomyocyte nuclei. We conclude that atorvastatin therapy during the peri-infarct period significantly improves LV function and limits adverse LV remodeling following MI independent of a reduction in infarct size. These salubrious effects may be due in part to a decrease in myocardial fibrosis and apoptosis.

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