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Kidney Int. 2001 Apr;59(4):1473-9.

Effect of fluvastatin on endothelium-dependent brachial artery vasodilation in patients after renal transplantation.

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Department of Internal Medicine D, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.



Hypercholesterolemia may affect both endothelial function and arterial distensibility (DC). Renal transplant recipients (NTX) exhibit advanced structural and functional alterations of arterial vessel walls. The aim of this double-blind, randomized trial was to evaluate the effects of fluvastatin (FLU) on brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) and DC in hypercholesterolemic NTX.


Eighteen NTX received FLU 40 mg/day and 18 NTX placebo (PLA). Before and after six months of treatment, the brachial artery diameter and DC at rest were measured by a Doppler frequency analysis in the M mode, and then changes in diameter during reactive hyperemia (to assess endothelial-dependent FMD) and after 400 microg sublingual nitroglycerin (to assess endothelium-independent vasodilation-NMD).


FLU, but not PLA, treatment resulted in significant decreases in total (from 288 +/- 10 to 239 +/- 8 mg/dL, P < 0.05) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (from 182 +/- 779 to 138 +/- 8 mg/dL, P < 0.05). Blood pressure did not differ between FLU- and PLA-treated patients and was not affected by either treatment. Also, the brachial artery baseline diameter was not different between groups and was not affected by FLU or PLA. Brachial artery flow at rest and during reactive hyperemia as measured by pulsed Doppler did not differ between groups. Brachial artery FMD increased with FLU from 0.23 +/- 0.08 to 0.54 +/- 0.08 mm (P < 0.05), whereas PLA did not alter FMD (0.22 +/- 0.07 vs. 0.14 +/- 0.05 mm at baseline and after six months of PLA treatment, respectively, P = NS). In contrast, NMD did not change significantly with either treatment (0.76 +/- 0.13 vs. 0.83 +/- 0.15 mm at baseline and after 6 months of FLU treatment, respectively, P = NS, and 0.64 +/- 0.09 vs. 0.66 +/- 0.10 mm at baseline and after 6 months of PLA treatment, respectively, P = NS). Also, brachial artery DC was not altered by FLU (6.4 +/- 1.0 vs. 5.8 +/- 0.6 x 10-3/kPa, P = NS) or PLA treatment (5.8 +/- 0.6 vs. 6.8 +/- 0.8 x 10-3/kPa, P = NS).


In hypercholesterolemic NTX, the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor FLU significantly improves brachial artery FMD as a measure of endothelial function after six months of treatment. In contrast, FLU does not have a beneficial effect on brachial artery DC.

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