Statin loading in cardiovascular surgery: never too early to treat

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The effects of statin loading before, during or after vascular interventions on cardiovascular and renal outcomes are discussed. Furthermore, the selection of optimal statin type and dose, according to current evidence or guidelines, is considered. The importance of treating statin intolerance and avoiding statin discontinuation is also discussed.

Recent findings

Statin loading has been shown to beneficially affect cardiovascular outcomes, total mortality and/or contrast-induced acute kidney injury, in patients undergoing vascular procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), carotid endarterectomy (CEA), carotid artery stenting, endovascular aneurysm repair, open abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) repair and lower extremities vascular interventions. High-dose statin pretreatment is recommended for PCI and CABG according to current guidelines. Statin discontinuation should be avoided during acute cardiovascular events and vascular interventions; adequate measures should be implemented to overcome statin intolerance.

Summary

Statin loading is an important clinical issue in patients with cardiac and noncardiac vascular diseases, including carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease and AAA, undergoing vascular interventions. Cardiologists and vascular surgeons should be aware of current evidence and implement guidelines in relation to statin loading, discontinuation and intolerance.

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