Background Systemic sclerosis (SSc) has been associated with vasculopathy and increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Both microvascular and macrovascular diseases are characteristic for SSc. There is an immense need for proper vasculoprotective prevention and treatment.
Objectives We wished to study the effect of rosuvastatin on endothelial and macrovascular function and laboratory cardiovascular risk factors in patients with SSc.
Methods Altogether 28 patients with SSc underwent laboratory and complex vascular assessments before and after 6 months of 20mg rosuvastatin treatment. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery and carotid artery intima-media thickness (ccIMT) were analyzed by ultrasound. Carotid-femoral and aorto-femoral pulse wave-velocity (PWV) were measured by ECG-synchronized pulsed wave Doppler ultrasound. Ankle-brachial index (ABI) was determined by Doppler, forearm skin microcirculation was assessed by Laser Doppler perfusion monitoring.
Results Brachial artery FMD significantly improved upon rosuvastatin therapy (2.2±3.3% before vs. 5.7±3.9% after treatment, p=0.0002), while changes in PWV, ccIMT and ABI were not significant. Deceleration slope of Laser Doppler flowmetry also significantly improved (-1.13±0.92 U/s vs. -0.64±1.09 U/s, p=0.021). Mean triglyceride (1.7±0.97 vs. 1.3±0.46 mmol/l, p=0.0004), total cholesterol (5.3±1.6 mmol/l vs. 4.2±1.3 mmol/l, p=0.0003), LDL-C (3.0±1.3 vs. 2.2±1.0 mmol/l, p=0.005) and CRP levels (5.1±5.2 vs. 3.4±2.7, p=0.01) significantly decreased after rosuvastatin treatment.
Conclusions Six-month rosuvastatin therapy improves endothelial function and lowers CRP levels indicating possible favourable effects of this statin on the cardiovascular system in SSc.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared