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J Vasc Surg. 2005 Nov;42(5):829-36; discussion 836-7.

3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors reduce the risk of perioperative stroke and mortality after carotid endarterectomy.

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Department of Neurosurgery, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



There is increasing evidence that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) reduce cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events through anti-inflammatory, plaque stabilization, and neuroprotective effects independent of lipid lowering. This study was designed to investigate whether statin use reduces the incidence of perioperative stroke and mortality among patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA).


All patients undergoing CEA from 1994 to 2004 at a large academic medical center were retrospectively reviewed. The independent association of statin use and perioperative morbidity was assessed via multivariate logistic regression analysis.


CEA was performed by 13 surgeons on 1566 patients (987 men and 579 women; mean age, 72 +/- 10 years), including 1440 (92%) isolated and 126 (8%) combined CEA/coronary artery bypass grafting procedures. The indication for CEA was symptomatic disease in 660 (42%) cases. Six hundred fifty-seven (42%) patients received a statin medication for at least 1 week before surgery. Statin use was associated with a reduction in perioperative strokes (1.2% vs 4.5%; P < .01), transient ischemic attacks (1.5% vs 3.6%; P < .01), all-cause mortality (0.3% vs 2.1%; P < .01), and median (interquartile range) length of hospitalization (2 days [2-5 days] vs 3 days [2-7 days]; P < .05). Adjusting for all demographics and comorbidities in multivariate analysis, statin use independently reduced the odds of stroke threefold (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 0.35 [0.15-0.85]; P < .05) and death fivefold (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 0.20 [0.04-0.99]; P < .05).


These data suggest that perioperative statin use may reduce the incidence of cerebrovascular events and mortality among patients undergoing CEA.

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