Last updated on December 2010

Effect of Short Term Atorvastatin Treatment 80mg/Day on Early Regression of Carotid Artery Atherosclerotic Lesions

Brief description of study

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which the blood vessels become blocked by plaques (consisting of fat, calcification, and fibrous tissue), reducing blood flow to vital organs and tissues.Blockage of the carotid arteries in the neck is a major cause of stroke. One way of treating carotid atherosclerosis is with cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. Statins have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 24-40% and risk pf stroke by 11-30%.The purpose of this study is to determine if short term treatment with atorvastatin causes early favorable changes in the plaques that block blood flow through the carotid arteries. These changes can be assessed 1) by taking pictures of the carotid arteries with MRI and Ultrasound before and after statin treatment, and 2) by special studies of the plaques removed from the carotid arteries by surgery.

Detailed Study Description

Candidates for bilateral carotid endarterectomy (CEA) who meet study criteria will provide informed consent before their randomization. Before the first CEA, the patient will have MRI, US, and EBCT exams of both carotids. The most occlusive plaque will be resected at the first CEA. The patient will then receive atorvastatin 80 mg/day for 3 months. Then the second CEA will be performed. Six weeks after the second CEA, the patient will have another MRI, US, and EBCT exam and at 6, 12, and 18 months thereafter. This protocol will allow comparison of the characteristics of the plaque that has been exposed to drug vs the plaque that has not been exposed. It will also allow monitoring the effect of drug on restenosis after surgery.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00640744

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Baylor College of Medicine

Houston, TX United States
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