- •Achieving LDL-c < 70 mg/dL was associated with a trend of reducing atherosclerotic plaque progression at one year.
- •Age (≥60 years) was associated atherosclerotic plaque progression at one year.
- •Gender, diabetes or smoking were not associated atherosclerotic plaque progression at one year.
To assess whether an intensive lipid-lowering strategy is more beneficial on atherosclerotic plaque progression in the stroke survivors.
We retrospectively assessed data that was prospectively collected on 106 ischemic stroke patients from one academic stroke center. Patients with various degrees of common carotid artery atherosclerosis were followed for one year. Patients were classified into intensive lipid-lowering therapy (ILLT) group if they achieve low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) < 70 mg/dL (n = 38) and conventional lipid-lowering therapy (CLLT) group if their LDL-c is within 70–120 mg/dL (n = 68) at end of one year. Carotid ultrasound was performed at baseline lipid-lowering therapy and at one year to characterize the plaques.
Mean change in atherosclerotic plaque length was −1.4 mm (95% CI: [−4.1, 1, 2]; P = 0.27) in ILLT and 1.1 mm in CLLP group (95% CI: [−0.9, 3.1]; P = 0.27); no difference between groups (P = 0.40). Atherosclerotic plaque thickness decreased by 0.2 mm (95% CI: [−0.4, 0.03]; P = 0.09) in ILLT group; while in CLLT group, thickness increased by 0.02 mm after 1-year therapy (95%CI: [−0.1, 0.2]; P = 0.77); no difference between groups (P = 0.28).
Achieving LDL-c < 70 mg/dL in ischemic stroke patients was associated with a trend of reducing atherosclerotic plaque progression at one year. Future larger studies are warranted.
Abbreviations:LDL-c (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), ILLT (intensive lipid-lowering therapy), CLLT (conventional lipid-lowering therapy), HCY (homocysteine), S.D. (standard deviation), IQR (interquartile range), CI (confidential interval)
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Published online: April 17, 2017
Accepted: April 12, 2017
Received in revised form: March 21, 2017
Received: December 2, 2016
© 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V.