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Neurosurg Rev. 2013 Apr;36(2):279-87; discussion 287. doi: 10.1007/s10143-012-0431-0. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Continued statin therapy could improve the outcome after spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage.

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Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Otto-von-Guericke Universität, Leipziger Strasse 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) often represents a devastating event despite maximal therapeutic efforts. Statins are drugs primarily used as cholesterol reducers with several pleiotropic effects that may result in neuroprotection. In this study, we assessed the continued use of statins after acute ICH. From January 2008 to October 2010, we analyzed a retrospective cohort of 178 patients with acute ICH. Patients with head injury, cerebral tumors, hemorrhage after ischemic stroke, and having a National Institute Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score of greater than 30 points on admission were excluded. In 29 patients, statins were continued within the first 24 h after onset of ICH and, subsequently, given daily until discharge, whereas 149 nonusers were used as controls. Inpatient mortality, NIHSS, and Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS) at discharge as well as mortality after 10 days, 3 months, and 6 months were recorded as outcomes. Additionally, changes of C-reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cell (WBC) counts, as well as aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase levels were assessed. Except for the number of hypertensive and diabetic patients, characteristics on admission were similar between both groups. No mortality was observed in statin users, whereas 19 controls (12.7 %) died (p = 0.04) until discharge; after 10 days, 3 months, and 6 months, a similar trend was found. After 6 months, statin use was associated to lower mortality in regression models (OR = 0.32, 95 % CI = 0.11-0.95, p = 0.04). In the same way, statin use was related to NIHSS reduction (-3.53, 95 % CI = -7.59 to 0.42, p = 0.07). In mixed models, changes of WBC counts and CRP levels were associated with statin use. The hepatic enzymes were similar between groups. The continued use of statins after ICH could be associated to early neurological improvement and may reduce mortality within 6 months. Immunomodulation as a pleiotropic effect of statins may represent one of the underlying mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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