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Daru. 2014 Jan 7;22(1):10. doi: 10.1186/2008-2231-22-10.

Effects of atorvastatin on plasma matrix metalloproteinase-9 concentration after glial tumor resection; a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Neurosurgical procedures such as craniotomy and brain tumor resection could potentially lead to unavoidable cerebral injuries. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) is up-regulated in neurological injuries. Statins have been suggested to reduce MMP- 9 level and lead to neuroprotection. Atorvastatin preoperatively administered to evaluate its neuroprotective effects and outcome assessment in neurosurgical-induced brain injuries after glial tumor resection. In this prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 42 patients undergoing glial tumor surgery randomly received 40 mg atorvastatin or placebo twice daily from seven days prior to operation and continued for a 3 weeks period. Plasma MMP-9 concentration measured 4 times, immediately before starting atorvastatin or placebo, immediately before surgery, 24 hours and two weeks after the surgery. Karnofsky performance score was assessed before first dose of atorvastatin as a baseline and 2 months after the surgery.


Karnofsky performance scale after surgery raised significantly more in Atorvastatin group (11.43 +/- 10.62 vs. 4.00 +/- 8.21) (p = 0.03). Atorvastatin did not significantly reduce MMP-9 plasma concentration 24 hours after surgery in comparison to placebo. No statistical significance detected regarding length of hospital stay among the groups. Significant reduction in MMP-9 plasma concentration was recorded in atorvastatin group two weeks after surgery (p = 0.048).


Significant statistical differences detected with atorvastatin group regarding MMP-9 plasma concentration, clinical outcome and Karnofsky performance score. Consequently, atorvastatin use may lead to better outcome after neurosurgical procedures.

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