Effects of atorvastatin on reactive hyperemia and inflammatory process in patients with congestive heart failure.
Tousoulis D., Antoniades C., Bosinakou E., Kotsopoulou M., Pitsavos C., Vlachopoulos C., Panagiotakos D., Stefanadis C.
Purpose of the study was to investigate whether short-term atorvastatin treatment improves endothelial function and affects inflammatory process in patients with heart failure (HF) and normal cholesterol levels. HF is characterized by endothelial dysfunction and increased inflammatory process, while statins restore endothelial function having also anti-inflammatory effects in hypercholesterolemic patients. We investigated the effect of 4-week atorvastatin treatment (10 mg/day) on endothelial function and inflammatory markers in patients with HF and cholesterol levels <220 mg/dl. Patients were randomly allocated into groups and received atorvastatin (n=19) or no statin (n=19). Forearm blood flow was measured using gauge-strain plethysmography. Serum levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1) were determined with ELISA. Data are expressed as median [25th-75th percentile]. Forearm vasodilatory response to reactive hyperemia was significantly improved in atorvastatin-treated patients (from 38.1% [32.0-59.1] to 70.0% [61.1-106.3], P<0.01), while it remained unaffected in the control group. Levels of IL-6, TNF-alpha and sVCAM-1 were decreased in atorvastatin-treated group (from 7.8 pg/ml [4.8-9.5], 3.2 pg/ml [2.7-4.8] and 595 ng/ml [440-810] to 5.6 pg/ml [2.5-9.0], 2.8 pg/ml [2.0-3.6] and 289 ng/ml [169-368], respectively, P<0.05 for all) but not in the control group. These findings indicate that atorvastatin may improve forearm vasodilatory response to reactive hyperemia and depress inflammatory process in patients with heart failure and normal baseline cholesterol levels.