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Comparison of Rosuvastatin Versus Atorvastatin for Coronary Plaque Stabilization

Published:February 22, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.02.019
      Statins are widely used to lower cholesterol and to reduce cardiovascular events. Whether all statins have similar effects on plaque stabilization is unknown. We aimed to investigate coronary plaque response to treatment with different statins that result in similar lipid reduction using serial multimodality intracoronary imaging. Patients with de novo coronary artery disease requiring intervention were randomized to rosuvastatin 10mg (R10) or atorvastatin 20mg (A20) daily. Optical coherence tomography and intravascular ultrasound were performed at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Untreated nonculprit plaques were analyzed by optical coherence tomography for thin-cap fibroatheroma, minimum fibrous cap thickness, lipid arc, and lipid length. Total and percent atheroma volume, respectively were analyzed by intravascular ultrasound. Forty-three patients completed the protocol (R10: 24 patients, 31 plaques; A20: 19 patients, 30 plaques). The decrease in serum lipids was similar. From baseline to 6 months to 12 months, minimum fibrous cap thickness increased in the R10 group (61.4 ± 15.9 µm to 120.9 ± 57.9 µm to 171.5 ± 67.8 µm, p <0.001) and the A20 group (60.8 ± 18.1 µm to 99.2 ± 47.7 µm to 127.0± 66.8 µm, p <0.001). Prevalence of thin-cap fibroatheroma significantly decreased in the R10 and A20 groups (−48% and −53%, respectively, p <0.001 for intragroup comparisons). Only the R10 group had a decrease in macrophage density (−23%, p = 0.04) and microvessels (−12%, p = 0.002). Total atheroma volume decreased in the R10 group (109.2 ± 62.1 mm3 to 101.8 ± 61.1 mm3 to 102.5 ± 62.2 mm3, p = 0.047) but not in the A20 group (83.3 ± 48.5mm3 to 77.6 ± 43.0 mm3 to 77.9 ± 48.6 mm3, p = 0.07). In conclusion, although both statins demonstrated similar reductions in lipid profiles, the rosuvastatin group showed more rapid and robust plaque stabilization, and regression of plaque volume compared to the atorvastatin group.
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