Anti-inflammatory effect of statin is continuously working throughout use: a prospective three time point 18F-FDG PET/CT imaging study
No data exist whether statins have robust anti-inflammatory effects of atherosclerotic plaques primarily during the early treatment period or continuously throughout use. This prospective three time point 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) study of the carotid artery assessed anti-inflammatory effects of statin during the early treatment period (initiation to 3 months) and late treatment period (3 months to 1 year) and their correlation with lipid and inflammatory profile changes during a year of therapy. Nine statin-naïve stable angina patients with inflammatory carotid plaques received 20 mg/day atorvastatin after undergoing initial 18F-FDG PET/CT scanning of carotid arteries and ascending thoracic aorta, and then completed serial 18F-FDG PET/CT imaging at 3 and 12 months whose data were analyzed. The primary outcome was the inter-scan percent change in target-to-background ratio (ΔTBR) within the index vessel. At 3 months of atorvastatin treatment, mean serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level decreased by 36.4% to < 70 mg/dL (p = 0.001) and mean serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level increased to > 40 mg/dL (p = 0.041), with both maintained with no further reduction up to 1 year (p = 0.516 and 0.715, respectively) while mean serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein level only numerically decreased (p = 0.093). The index vessel ΔTBR showed continuous plaque inflammation reduction over 1 year, by 4.4% (p = 0.015) from the initiation to 3rd months and 6.2% (p = 0.009) from 3rd months to 1 year, respectively, without correlation with lipid profile changes. The ΔTBR of the bilateral carotid arteries and ascending aorta also continuously decreased from 3 months to 1 year. Three time point 18F-FDG PET/CT imaging demonstrates that statin’s anti-inflammatory effect continues throughout its use up to 1 year, even though yielding stable below-target plasma LDL-C levels at 3 months.
KeywordsStatin 18F-FDG PET/CT Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
F-18 fluorine fluorodeoxyglucose
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol
High sensitivity C-reactive protein
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
Most diseased segment
Magnetic resonance imaging
Positron emission tomography/computed tomography
Region of interest
Maximum standardized uptake value
Target to background ratio
This study was supported by a Grant from the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A070001).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors report no conflicts of interests.
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