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Stroke. 2006 Oct;37(10):2540-5. Epub 2006 Aug 24.

Influence of atorvastatin treatment on L-arginine cerebrovascular reactivity and flow-mediated dilatation in patients with lacunar infarctions.

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  • 1Ljubljana Medical Centre, Department of Neurology, Zaloska 7, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. janja.pretnar@kclj.si

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

In our study we hypothesized that statins improve endothelial function in patients with lacunar infarctions (LI). Cerebral and systemic endothelial function was determined before and after 3-months treatment with atorvastatin.

METHODS:

Cerebral endothelial function was determined by L-arginine reactivity and systemic endothelial function by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in patients with LI (18 patients, aged 61.1+/-7.6 years), 20 age- and gender-matched patients with similar risk factors (SR) and 19 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. The mean arterial velocity (v(m)) in both middle cerebral arteries was measured by transcranial Doppler sonography before, during and after a 30-minute intravenous infusion of L-arginine. FMD of the brachial artery after hyperaemia was determined. The measurements were repeated after 3-months treatment with 40 mg of atorvastatin per day.

RESULTS:

L-arginine reactivity was decreased in LI patients (13.1+/-8.4%) and in patients with SR compared with healthy controls (P < or = 0.01). FMD was more impaired in patients with LI (0.06+/-4.9%) compared with patients with SR and healthy controls (P < or = 0.01). After atorvastatin treatment, L-arginine reactivity and FMD improved in both patients with LI (17.1+/-7.6%; 7.0+/-5.7%) and patients with SR (P < or = 0.01). Previously mildly increased cholesterol values normalized.

CONCLUSIONS:

The decreased L-arginine reactivity and FMD improve after atorvastatin treatment in both patients with LI and patients with SR.

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