Use of rosuvastatin in HIV-associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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Abstract

Objectives:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is more prevalent in HIV-infected individuals and is associated with persistent inflammation. Therapies unique to HIV are lacking. We performed a pilot study of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor rosuvastatin to determine effects on lung function.

Design:

Randomized, placebo-controlled, triple-blinded trial.

Methods:

HIV-infected individuals with abnormal lung function were recruited from an ongoing lung function study. Participants were randomized to 24 weeks of placebo (n = 11) or rosuvastatin (n = 11) using an adaptive randomization based on change in peripheral C-reactive protein levels at 30 days of treatment. Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLco)%-predicted were compared to baseline at 24 weeks in the two groups using a Wilcoxon rank-sum test. The %-predicted change at 24 weeks in pulmonary function variables was compared between groups using simulated randomization tests.

Results:

The placebo group experienced a significant decline in FEV1%-predicted (P = 0.027), and no change in DLco%-predicted over 24 weeks. In contrast, FEV1%-predicted remained stable in the rosuvastatin group, and DLco%-predicted increased significantly (P = 0.027). There was no significant difference in absolute change in either measure between placebo and rosuvastatin groups.

Conclusion:

In a pilot study, the use of rosuvastatin for 24 weeks appeared to slow worsening of airflow obstruction and to improve DLco in HIV-infected individuals with abnormal lung function, although comparison of absolute changes between the groups did not reach significance. This study is the first to test a therapy for COPD in an HIV-infected population, and large-scale clinical trials are needed.

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