Additive Effect of Homocysteine- and Cholesterol-Lowering Therapy on Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease


  • ID: NCT00693589.

Yves Allemann, M.D., F.E.S.C., Cardiology, Swiss Cardiovascular Center Bern, University Hospital, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland.
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Aim: Endothelial dysfunction is a marker for development and progression of atherosclerosis. Statin therapy improves endothelial function in cardiovascular patients by reducing LDL-cholesterol and by pleiotropic effects. B-group vitamin supplementation restores endothelial function mainly by reducing homocysteine-induced oxidative stress. Thus, we evaluated the effect of rosuvastatin, B-group vitamins and their combination on endothelial function in high-risk cardiovascular patients. Methods: Thirty-six patients with cardiovascular disease were randomly, double-blinded assigned to either rosuvastatin 10 mg (group R, n = 18) or vitamin supplementation consisting of folic acid 1 mg, vitamin B12 0.4 mg, and B6 10 mg (group V, n = 18) for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks all patients received rosuvastatin and vitamin supplementation in combination for additional 6 weeks. Endothelial function was assessed by flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) at baseline and after 6- and 12-week treatment. Results: At baseline, FMD, plasma lipids, vitamins, and homocysteine were comparable between both groups. After 6 weeks, FMD improved in both groups (from 4.4 ± 1.6 to 6.9 ± 1.4% group R, P= 0.0004 and from 4.9 ± 1.8 to 6.4 ± 1.8% group V, P= 0.0002). This improvement in FMD was mainly associated with a decrease of plasma lipids in group R and a decrease of homocysteine in group V. After 12 weeks, the combined therapy with rosuvastatin and vitamins further improved FMD to the normal range in 26/33 patients compared to 5/36 at baseline (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: In conclusion, both treatments, rosuvastatin and B-group vitamin supplementation, improved endothelial function in high-risk cardiovascular patients. The combination of both therapies had an additive effect on endothelial function suggesting different mechanisms of action.