What is the role of statins in the prevention of recurrent posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: Erek K Helseth, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Numerous statins (eg, lovastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, atorvastatin) are available. All inhibit the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the anabolism of cholesterol. These drugs are effective in reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol but have less effect on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides.

The statins may have other, pleiotropic effects in stroke prevention, such as plaque stabilization, reduction of free radical formation, and anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antiplatelet effects. Additionally, prestroke use of statins may be associated with smaller infarct or better outcomes. Large vessel atherosclerosis may undergo regression in patients treated with statin therapy.


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