It is well established that statins improve the prognosis of patients with coronary artery disease. However, it is still unclear whether the protective effects of statins relate to lipid lowering alone or whether other pleiotropic effects may contribute. Thus, we compared the endothelial function among two groups of diabetic patients treated with fluvastatin 60 mg (F60) or fluvastatin 20 mg combined with ezetimibe 10 mg (F20/E10). The endothelial function was evaluated by measuring flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) at baseline and follow-up at 10 weeks. Similar improvements in FMD were observed in the two groups. The reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) was less pronounced in the F60 group, compared with the F20/E10 group. A significant reduction in remnant-like lipoprotein particles cholesterol (RLP-C) was observed in the F20/E10 group, but not in the F60 group. A correlation between the observed reduction in LDL-C or RLP-C and the improvement in FMD was observed in F20/E10 group. These results suggest that high-dose fluvastatin might have pleiotropic effects of potential clinical benefit, and that the combination of ezetimibe with a reduced dose of fluvastatin may also significantly improve endothelial function with reduction of LDL-C and RLP-C.
The Japan Endocrine Society