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Expert Rev Neurother. 2011 Aug;11(8):1141-9. doi: 10.1586/ern.11.101.

Statins in hemorrhagic stroke.

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Department of Neurology, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, IL, USA.


Statin therapy has a major impact on the treatment of coronary artery disease and also has an impact on the treatment of ischemic stroke. Both clinical and experimental studies support the concept of statin actions beyond those of lipid lowering per se (pleiotrophic effects). In this article, we briefly review the clinical, experimental and biological data on the actions of statins and then review the literature regarding the impact of statin use on the two major forms of hemorrhagic stroke: aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). We make recommendations regarding acute statin therapy, statin withdrawal and chronic statin therapy, including a possibly negative impact - the increased incidence of ICH associated with the use of higher doses of statin in patients with a prior history of stroke. Epidemiological data on the association between low total cholesterol or low levels of low-density cholesterol, hypertension and the incidence of ICH appear relevant and are also discussed. We speculate on the relationship between data derived from randomized controlled trials employing statin and ICH epidemiology.

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