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Atherosclerosis. 2014 May;234(1):114-9. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.02.025. Epub 2014 Mar 5.

Stabilizing effect of combined eicosapentaenoic acid and statin therapy on coronary thin-cap fibroatheroma.

Author information

1
Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Japan.
2
Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Japan. Electronic address: shinke820@aol.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The addition of highly purified eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to statin therapy prevents cardiovascular events. However, the impact of this treatment on vulnerable plaques remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of adding EPA to a standard statin therapy on vulnerable plaques by serial optical coherence tomography (OCT).

METHODS:

Forty-nine non-culprit thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA) lesions in 30 patients with untreated dyslipidemia were included. Patients were randomly assigned to EPA (1800 mg/day) + statin (23 TCFA, 15 patients) or statin only (26 TCFA, 15 patients) treatment. The statin (rosuvastatin) dose was adjusted to achieve a target low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level of <70 mg/dL. Post-percutaneous intervention and 9-month follow-up OCT were performed to evaluate morphological changes of TCFAs. The EPA/arachidonic acid (EPA/AA) ratio and pentraxin-3 (PTX3) levels were also evaluated.

RESULTS:

Despite similar follow-up LDL levels, the EPA + statin group had higher EPA/AA ratios and lower PTX3 levels than the statin group. OCT analysis showed that the EPA + statin group had a greater increase in fibrous-cap thickness, with a greater decrease in lipid arc and lipid length. Macrophage accumulation was less frequently detected in the EPA + statin group than in the statin group at follow-up. When the patients were categorized according to their follow-up PTX3 tertiles, fibrous-cap thickness showed significant increase, and the incidence of macrophages accumulation decreased with lower PTX3 levels.

CONCLUSION:

The concomitant use of EPA and rosuvastatin may stabilize vulnerable plaques better than the statin alone, possibly by suppressing arterial inflammation.

KEYWORDS:

Eicosapentaenoic acid; Optical coherence tomography; Pentraxin-3; Thin-cap fibroatheroma

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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