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Effects of atorvastatin on endothelial function and the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules in young subjects with successfully repaired coarctation of aorta
  1. S Brili,
  2. D Tousoulis,
  3. A S Antonopoulos,
  4. C Antoniades,
  5. G Hatzis,
  6. C Bakogiannis,
  7. N Papageorgiou,
  8. C Stefanadis
  1. 1st Cardiology Department, Hippokration Hospital, Athens University Medical School, Athens Greece
  1. Correspondence to Professor Dimitris Tousoulis, Athens University Medical School, S Karagiorga 69, Glifada, Athens 16675, Greece; tousouli{at}


Objective To investigate the effects of atorvastatin on endothelial function and low-grade systemic inflammation in subjects with successful surgery for aortic coarctation repair (SCR).

Design Open-label study.

Setting Outpatients visiting the adult congenital heart disease department of our hospital.

Patients 34 young people with SCR.

Interventions Patients with SCR received atorvastatin 10 mg/day (n=17) or no treatment (n=17) for 4 weeks. At baseline and at 4 weeks, endothelial function was assessed by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the right brachial artery, and blood samples were obtained. Serum levels of interleukin (IL) 1b, IL-6 and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) were determined by ELISA.

Main outcome measures Effects of treatment on FMD and serum levels of IL-1b, IL-6 and sVCAM-1.

Results FMD in the atorvastatin group was significantly improved after 4 weeks (from 6.46±0.95% to 11.24±1.38%, p<0.01), while remaining unchanged in the control group (from 6.74±0.58% to 6.95±0.53%, p=NS). Even though atorvastatin had no effect on serum IL-6 levels (0.62 (0.37–0.88) pg/ml to 0.53 (0.28–0.73) pg/ml, p=NS), it significantly reduced circulating levels of IL-1b (from 1.17 (0.92–1.77) pg/ml to 1.02 (0.75–1.55) pg/ml, p<0.05) and sVCAM-1 (from 883.4 (660.3–1093.1) ng/ml to 801.4 (566.7–1030.2) ng/ml, p<0.05). No changes were seen in serum levels of IL-6, IL-1b and sVCAM-1 in the control group after 4 weeks compared with baseline (p=NS for all).

Conclusions Atorvastatin treatment for 4 weeks in subjects with SCR significantly improved endothelial function and suppressed systemic inflammatory status by decreasing circulating levels of IL-1b and sVCAM-1.

  • Coarctation
  • inflammation
  • endothelium
  • statins
  • nitric oxide
  • oxidative stress
  • coronary physiology
  • congenital heart disease
  • platelet activation
  • atherosclerosis
  • coronary artery disease
  • valvular disease
  • renal disease
  • pharmacology
  • stable angina
  • endothelial function
  • valvuloplasty
  • interventional cardiology
  • acute ischaemic syndromes
  • EBM

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  • SB and DT contributed equally to this work.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the institutional ethics committee of Hippokration Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.