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Rosuvastatin and vascular dysfunction markers in pulmonary arterial hypertension: a placebo-controlled study


We investigated whether chronic rosuvastatin administration could improve the abnormalities of the circulating levels of vascular dysfunction markers in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Sixty patients, aged 13 to 60 years, with idiopathic (N = 14) or congenital heart disease-associated PAH (N = 46) were equally but randomly assigned to oral rosuvastatin treatment (10 mg a day, daily) or placebo for 6 months in a blind fashion. Plasma levels of P-selectin, tissue-plasminogen activator and its inhibitor as well as von Willebrand factor antigen were measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay before and after 1, 3, and 6 months of treatment. Baseline levels of biomarkers were elevated (68%, 16%, 45% and 46% increase relative to controls, respectively for P-selectin, von Willebrand factor antigen, tissue-plasminogen activator and its inhibitor, P < 0.001). P-selectin values at baseline, 1, 3, and 6 months were 39.9 ± 18.5, 37.6 ± 14.6, 34.8 ± 14.6, and 35.4 ± 13.9 ng/mL, respectively for the rosuvastatin group and 45.7 ± 26.8, 48.0 ± 26.9, 48.1 ± 25.7, and 45.7 ± 25.6 ng/mL for the placebo group. The P-selectin level was lower in the rosuvastatin group compared with placebo throughout treatment (P = 0.037, general linear model). A trend was observed towards a decrease in tissue-plasminogen activator in the statin group (16% reduction, P = 0.094), with no significant changes in the other markers. Since P-selectin is crucial in inflammation and thrombosis, its reduction by rosuvastatin is potentially relevant in the pathophysiological scenario of PAH. (AU)