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10-01-2011 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Statins protect against major events following vascular surgery


Free abstract

MedWire News: French researchers say that pre-operative statin therapy may protect patients undergoing vascular surgery from major adverse postoperative events.

Yannick Le Manach (CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris) and colleagues show that in patients undergoing aortic reconstruction, chronic statin treatment reduces the risk for myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and renal failure.

The team also shows that statin therapy is associated with reduced mortality in patients who experience multiple organ dysfunction or surgical complications.

Writing in the journal Anesthesiology, the researchers say that the study demonstrates "a clear benefit of chronic statin therapy after major vascular surgery."

Manach and team prospectively investigated the effect of pre-operative chronic statin therapy in more than 1600 patients (from the Pitié-Salpêtrière Vascular Surgical Register) who underwent infrarenal aortic reconstructive surgery between 2001 and 2010. The occurrence of various cardiac and noncardiac-related endpoints was assessed 30-45 days post operation.

The team found that statin therapy reduced the risk for death and postoperative MI by 60% and 48%, respectively, compared with no statin therapy.

Risk for postoperative stroke and renal failure was also reduced by 58% and 51%, respectively whereas the frequency of pneumonia, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, and surgical complications was not significantly associated with chronic statin treatment.

Although statin therapy did not reduce the frequency of postoperative multiple organ dysfunction syndrome or surgical complications, mortality following these events was reduced by 66% and 61%, respectively. This led the researchers to suggest that statins may limit the consequences of postoperative complications among these patients.

"By reducing mortality in major postoperative complications, unabridged chronic statin therapy appears to be a global protector during the postoperative period of major vascular surgery," they say.

Manach and team suggest that, rather than only being considered for cardioprotective treatment, statins should be considered peri-operatively for the protection of patients undergoing major vascular surgery.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Nikki Withers