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Am J Cardiol. 2014 Feb 15;113(4):580-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.10.038. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Impact on optical coherence tomographic coronary findings of fluvastatin alone versus fluvastatin + ezetimibe.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Toyohashi Heart Center, Toyohashi, Japan.
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Toyohashi Heart Center, Toyohashi, Japan. Electronic address:


Although lipid-lowering therapy with statin and ezetimibe has been reported to provide greater reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels than statin monotherapy, the effect of supplemental therapy on plaque stabilization is yet to be fully elucidated. Cap thickness of fibroatheroma evaluated by optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a major determinant of vulnerable plaque. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of ezetimibe in addition to fluvastatin on the progression of coronary atherosclerotic plaque evaluated by OCT. Sixty-three patients with angina pectoris with intermediate, nonculprit, lipid-rich plaque lesions evaluated by OCT were enrolled. The patients were divided into 2 groups: ezetimibe (10 mg/day) + fluvastatin (30 mg/day), and fluvastatin (30 mg/day) alone, and serial OCT examinations were performed at baseline and 9-month follow-up. A total of 57 patients (ezetimibe + fluvastatin, n = 31; fluvastatin alone, n = 26) underwent serial OCT examinations. The change in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was significantly larger in the ezetimibe + fluvastatin group compared with fluvastatin-alone group (-34.0 ± 32.0 vs -8.3 ± 17.4 mg/dl, p <0.001). Fibrous cap thickness was significantly increased and the angle of the lipid plaque was significantly decreased in both groups. The change in the fibrous cap thickness was significantly greater in the ezetimibe + fluvastatin group (0.08 ± 0.08 mm vs 0.04 ± 0.06 mm, p <0.001). In conclusion, lipid-lowering therapy by ezetimibe + fluvastatin could increase the fibrous cap thickness of lipid-rich plaque compared with fluvastatin monotherapy.

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