2004 Volume 45 Issue 6 Pages 977-987
Statins have pleiotrophic effects related to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and thrombogenicity of the vessel wall beyond lipid lowering. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of atorvastatin treatment on the fibrinolytic system in patients with dyslipidemia.
The investigation was carried out on 41 dyslipidemic patients (21 males and 20 females) with a mean age of 53.8 years (range, 30-76). The patients were divided into subgroups according to their cholesterol and triglyceride levels as hypercholesterolemic (n = 26) and mixed-type hyperlipidemic (n = 15) and their risk factors for coronary heart disease including age, sex, hypertension, obesity, smoking, and family history. The patients were started on atorvastatin 10 mg/day, and evaluated within 6-12 weeks to assess the changes in fibrinolytic parameters including global fibrinolytic capacity, plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 and tissue plasminogen activator, and lipids.
After successful lipid-lowering therapy, global fibrinolytic capacity (P = 0.003) and tissue plasminogen activator levels (P = 0.04) were found to be increased and plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 levels (P = 0.02) decreased in dyslipidemic patients. Global fibrinolytic capacity levels increased (P < 0.001) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 levels decreased (P = 0.01) in patients with hypercholesterolemia (n = 26). However, no significant changes were observed in fibrinolytic parameters in patients with mixed-type hyperlipidemia (n = 15). When the patients were separately evaluated according to risk factors, significant beneficial effects on the fibrinolytic system were observed, especially in patients without obesity and hypertension as well as in older patients and males.
These findings suggest that atorvastatin treatment has a beneficial effect on the fibrinolytic system in patients with hypercholesterolemia, but not in patients with mixed-type hyperlipidemia. Further studies are needed to show whether higher doses and longer periods of lipid lowering treatment have beneficial effects in patients with mixed type hyperlipidemia and some risk factors.