Research Article| Volume 191, ISSUE 1, P107-114, March 2007

Serial intravascular ultrasound evidence of both plaque stabilization and lesion progression in patients with ruptured coronary plaques: Effects of statin therapy on ruptured coronary plaque


      Using serial intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), we evaluated the natural evolution of non-culprit/non-target lesion ruptured coronary plaques and assessed the impact of statin therapy. Twenty-eight patients with non-stenotic ruptured plaques underwent baseline and 12-month follow-up IVUS studies; half were treated with statins. Standard IVUS analyses were performed. Complete healing of ruptured plaques was observed in four (29%) statin-treated patients and no non-statin-treated patients (p = 0.049). Statin-treated patients had an increase in lumen area of 0.4 ± 0.8 mm2 (versus a decrease in lumen area of −0.6 ± 1.0 mm2 in non-statin-treated patients, p = 0.007) and no change in plaque area (versus an increase in plaque area of 0.6 ± 0.9 mm2, p = 0.051). During 1-year follow-up, target lesion revascularization was performed in three non-statin-treated patients (21%) and no statin-treated patient (p = 0.11). Compared to lesions that did not require revascularization, lesions requiring revascularization had a decrease in lumen area (−1.7 ± 1.4 mm2 versus 0.1 ± 0.8 mm2, p = 0.001) as well as an increase in plaque area (1.6 ± 1.0 mm2 versus 0.1 ± 0.7 mm2, p = 0.002). In conclusion, the current observational follow-up IVUS study showed beneficial effects of statin treatment on reduction of revascularization rates and stabilization of non-culprit/non-target lesion plaque ruptures without significant stenosis. Conversely, healing of non-statin-treated non-culprit/non-target lesion plaque ruptures can be responsible for lesion progression requiring revascularization.


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