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Kidney Int. 2002 Aug;62(2):550-7.

Statin therapy improves brachial artery endothelial function in nephrotic syndrome.

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Department of Medicine and Western Australian Heart Research Institute, University of Western Australia, Australia.



Patients with nephrotic syndrome have impaired endothelial function probably related to dyslipidemia. This study evaluated the effects of statin therapy on dyslipidemia and endothelial function in patients with nephrotic syndrome.


A sequential, open-label study of the effects of statins on endothelial dysfunction in 10 nephrotic patients treated with an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin II (Ang II) receptor antagonist. Endothelial function was assessed at baseline, after 12 weeks of treatment with statins, and after an 8-week washout. Brachial artery endothelial function was measured as post-ischemic flow-mediated dilation (FMD) using ultrasonography. Endothelium-independent, glyceryl trinitrate-mediated vasodilation (GTNMD) also was measured.


Serum lipids were significantly lower following statin: total cholesterol mean 8.2 +/- 0.4 (standard error) mmol/L versus 5.2 +/- 0.3 mmol/L, triglycerides 2.6 +/- 0.4 mmol/L versus 1.6 +/- 0.2 mmol/L, non-HDL-cholesterol 6.7 +/- 0.4 mmol/L versus 3.7 +/- 0.2 mmol/L (all P < 0.001). There was a trend to an increase in serum albumin (31.0 +/- 1.3 g/L vs. 33.8 +/- 1.5 g/L; P = 0.078) and FMD improved significantly following treatment (3.7 +/- 1.1% vs. 7.0 +/- 0.8%, P < 0.01). After washout, FMD deteriorated significantly to 3.5 +/- 1.4% (P < 0.05) versus week 12 FMD. GTNMD was unchanged. In multivariate regression, reduction in non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (beta - 0.736, P = 0.027) and increase in serum albumin (beta 0.723, P = 0.028), but not the on-treatment level of non-HDL-cholesterol, were significant independent predictors of improvement in FMD after adjusting for change in resting brachial artery diameter. Changes in serum lipoprotein and albumin concentrations off treatment were not associated with deterioration in FMD.


Statin therapy significantly improves dyslipidemia and brachial artery endothelial function in patients with nephrotic syndrome. Improvement in brachial artery endothelial function may be in part related to a non-lipid effect of statins. The findings also suggest a role for dyslipidemia in endothelial dysfunction and the risk for cardiovascular disease in nephrotic syndrome.

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