Randomized controlled trial assessing the effect of simvastatin in primary biliary cirrhosis

William J. Cash*, Stephen O'Neill, Mark E. O'Donnell, David R. McCance, Ian S. Young, Jane McEneny, Neil I. McDougall, Michael E. Callender

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background This study evaluated the effect of statins in Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) on endothelial function, anti-oxidant status and vascular compliance. Methods Primary biliary cirrhosis patients with hypercholesterolaemia were randomized to receive 20mg simvastatin or placebo in a single blind, randomized controlled trial. Body mass index, blood pressure, glucose, liver function, lipid profile, immunoglobulin levels, serological markers of endothelial function and anti-oxidant status were measured as well as vascular compliance, calculated from pulse wave analysis and velocity, at recruitment and again at 3, 6, 9 and 12months. Results Twenty-one PBC patients (F=20, mean age = 55) were randomized to simvastatin 20mg (n=11) or matched placebo (n=10). At completion of the trial, serum cholesterol levels in the simvastatin group were significantly lower compared with the placebo group (4.91mmol/L vs. 6.15mmol/L, P=0.01). Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels after 12months were also significantly lower in the simvastatin group (2.33mmol/L vs. 3.53mmol/L, P=0.01). After 12months of treatment, lipid hydroperoxides were lower (0.49mol/L vs. 0.59mol/L, P=0.10) while vitamin C levels were higher (80.54mol/L vs. 77.40mol/L, P=0.95) in the simvastatin group. Pulse wave velocity remained similar between treatment groups at 12months (8.45m/s vs. 8.80m/s, P=0.66). Only one patient discontinued medication owing to side effects. No deterioration in liver transaminases was noted in the simvastatin group. Conclusions Statin therapy in patients with PBC appears safe and effective towards overall reductions in total cholesterol and LDL levels. Our initial study suggests that simvastatin may also confer advantageous effects on endothelial function and antioxidant status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1166-1174
Number of pages9
JournalLiver international
Volume33
Issue number8
Early online date02 May 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • antioxidant
  • endothelial function
  • primary biliary cirrhosis
  • randomized controlled trial
  • safety
  • simvastatin
  • CHRONIC LIVER-DISEASE
  • PULSE-WAVE ANALYSIS
  • ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION
  • HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIC PATIENTS
  • CARDIOVASCULAR RISK
  • ARTERIAL STIFFNESS
  • OXIDATIVE STRESS
  • ATORVASTATIN
  • STATINS
  • METAANALYSIS

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