Expert review| Volume 24, ISSUE 5, P892-896, October 2010

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Progress in Perioperative Medicine: Focus on Statins

Published:August 12, 2010DOI:
      Beyond cholesterol reduction, statins have multiple beneficial influences on vascular endothelial function, atherosclerotic plaque stability, inflammation, and thrombosis. These favorable pleiotropic effects may be the basis for their perioperative risk reduction in cardiothoracic and vascular procedures. The published evidence suggests that statins offer significant outcome benefits throughout perioperative practice. Because statin therapy significantly reduces the perioperative risk for patients undergoing cardiovascular procedures, they already are recommended in published guidelines. Beyond cardiac risk reduction, statin therapy also may protect the brain and the kidney in the perioperative setting, both in cardiac and vascular surgery. The pleiotropic effects of statins also appear to have therapeutic roles in the progression of valve disease, sepsis, and venous thrombosis. Further trials are required to provide data to drive their safe and comprehensive perioperative application for optimal patient outcome both in the short term and the long term. Because there are multiple randomized trials currently in progress throughout perioperative medicine, it is very likely that the indications for statins will be expanded significantly.

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