Statins improve outcomes of heart surgery

Use of atorvastatin and simvastatin is associated with improved post-operative outcomes in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

Evidence suggests that taking statins before and after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), operation pictured, can reduce postoperative inflammation

Evidence suggests that taking statins before and after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) can reduce post-operative inflammation. But it remains common practice for patients to discontinue therapy before surgery because of concerns about myopathy, a rare adverse event linked with statin use. 

The authors of a review article, published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery (online, 12 January 2016)[1]
, report that statins — particularly atorvastatin and simvastatin — are associated with improved outcomes in patients undergoing CABG. 

The researchers, led by Islam Elgendy from the University of Florida, found that perioperative statin therapy may be associated with reduced risk of mortality and atrial fibrillation following CABG. 

The team says it is likely these benefits outweigh the risks of statin-induced myopathy but that further research is needed to determine the optimum dose and duration of statins for CABG patients.

References

[1] Barakat AF, Saad M, Abuzaid A et al. Perioperative statin therapy for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.09.070

Last updated
Citation
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, February 2016, Vol 8, No 2;8(2):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20200484