Simvastatin, an HMG coenzyme A inhibitor, improves endothelial function within 1 month

G.J. O'Driscoll, Daniel Green, R.R. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

760 Citations (Web of Science)


Background Cholesterol-lowering therapy can improve cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with atherosclerosis. Although the mechanisms responsible are unclear, these benefits precede macroscopic changes in the vasculature. Emerging evidence that improvement in endothelial function may occur requires substantiation; in particular, it is unclear how early any such improvement would be detectable after initiation of therapy.Methods and Results This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study evaluated the effect of simvastatin (20 mg daily for 4 weeks) on endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent vasodilation and on the response to the inhibitor of nitric oxide synthesis, N-G-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), in the forearm vasculature of subjects with moderate elevation of total serum cholesterol (6.0 to 10.0 mmol/L) by use of strain-gauge plethysmography. Studies were repeated after 3 more months of open therapy. When the results are expressed as percentage changes in flow in the infused arm relative to the noninfused arm, the vasodilator response to acetylcholine was significantly increased after 4 weeks of treatment with simvastatin (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1126-1131
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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