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Summary

Cardiovascular disease remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients who have undergone renal transplantation, with one of the main risk factors being post-transplantation hyperlipidaemia. To date, however, optimal management of elevated lipid levels in such patients has been hindered by the lack of both effective and safe treatments, coupled with concerns over probable interactions with immunosuppressive therapy, particularly cyclosporin. Numerous studies confirm that the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitors, such as fluvastatin, are effective lipid-lowering agents in renal transplant recipients, supporting findings in other patients’ groups. Moreover, based on investigations of metabolic profile and clinical observation, fluvastatin (at dosages of up to 80 mg/day) is well tolerated in renal transplant recipients receiving cyclosporin. In clinical trials to date, no instances of rhabdomyolysis have been observed during co-administration of fluvastatin and cyclosporin. The potential of fluvastatin for improving survival in renal transplant recipients, in terms of both cardiovascular mortality and graft rejection, is currently being investigated in two ongoing studies: ALERT (Assessment of Lescol [fluvastatin] in Renal Transplantation) and SOLAR (Study of Lescol [fluvastatin] in Acute Rejection). The results of these landmark studies should confirm the safe utility of fluvastatin in the renal transplantation setting.