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BACKGROUND: High-dose statin treatment improves clinical outcome of ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI). However, the effect of low-dose atorvastatin treatment on inflammatory and pro-thrombotic molecules during the post-STEMI period is unclear. We investigated the effect of low-dose atorvastatin treatment on the kinetics of cytokine IL-6, vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1) and endothelium-derived markers of thrombosis/fibrinolysis such as von Willebrand factor (vWF), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), post STEMI. METHODS: Twenty-four normocholesterolemic patients with STEMI were randomised to receive atorvastatin 10mg/day or no statin treatment for 6 weeks after the event. Blood samples were obtained by their admission to the hospital as well as at weeks 1 and 6. Circulating levels of IL-6, sVCAM-1, vWF, PAI-1 and tPA were determined by ELISA. RESULTS: Atorvastatin induced a decrease of IL-6 at 1 week, an effect which reached significance compared to baseline at 6 weeks post STEMI (p<0.05 vs baseline). Serum sVCAM-1 was increased in controls both at 1 and 6 weeks post-STEMI (p<0.05 vs baseline), an effect prevented by atorvastatin. Plasma vWF was increased 1 week post-STEMI in controls (p<0.05 vs baseline) and returned to baseline at 6 weeks, an effect prevented by atorvastatin. Plasma PAI-1, tPA and the PAI-1/tPA ratio remained unchanged in both groups. CONCLUSION: Early initiation of low-dose atorvastatin treatment decreases the expression of IL-6 and sVCAM-1 and the release of vWF in patients with STEMI. Therefore, low-dose atorvastatin, modulates inflammatory response and decreases endothelial injury and activation in patients with recent STEMI.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cardiol

Publication Date





266 - 268


Atorvastatin, Biomarkers, Electrocardiography, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Heptanoic Acids, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Inflammation, Interleukin-6, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Infarction, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1, Pyrroles, Time Factors, Tissue Plasminogen Activator, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1, von Willebrand Factor