The Lupus Forum banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

958 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) May 12 - Statin therapy improves cardiac outcomes in kidney transplant patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), "with no apparent safety concerns," according to results of a small study published in the April issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism.

In comments to Reuters Health, first author Dr. Gudrun E. Norby from National Hospital, Oslo, Norway, said: "SLE mainly affects young women during childbearing years and these patients have an increased risk of premature cardiovascular disease. This study confirms the beneficial effect of statin therapy for prevention of cardiovascular disease shown in various populations."

Dr. Norby and colleagues identified 33 renal transplant patients with SLE and elevated levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides who enrolled in the Novartis AG-sponsored Assessment of Lescol in Renal Transplantation Trial an average of 4.5 years following transplantation.

Of the 33 patients, 23 were randomized to fluvastatin (40-80 mg/day) and 10 to placebo for up to 6 years, after which all patients were invited to continue in a 2-year open-label extension study in which all patients received fluvastatin.

The study team reports that fluvastatin treatment reduced LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol levels by 29.2% and 19.6%, respectively, but had no significant effect on HDL-cholesterol or triglycerides.

Four of 10 patients in the placebo group (40%) experienced a cardiac event during follow up, compared to 3 of 23 in the fluvastatin group (13%). "Thus, fluvastatin therapy was associated with a 73.4% reduction in the frequency of major cardiac events," the investigators note.

"Although this was a small study, the effect of statin treatment was quite dramatic," Dr. Norby said.

Measurement of hepatic enzyme and creatine kinase levels revealed no safety concerns with the use of fluvastatin in SLE renal transplant patients.

"The take-home message is that SLE transplanted patients benefit from statin treatment for reducing dyslipidemia and cardiovascular risk," Dr. Norby said. "The finding in SLE transplanted patients should probably be extended to SLE patients in general. SLE is an orphan population, and it is very unlikely that we ever will (conduct) a placebo-controlled statin trial in patients with this diagnosis."

Arthritis Rheum 2009;60:1060-1064.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts