Original Article| Volume 13, ISSUE 5, P847-853, September 2019

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Rapid improvement in carotid adventitial angiogenesis and plaque neovascularization after rosuvastatin therapy in statin treatment–naïve subjects

Published:August 03, 2019DOI:


      • Adventitial Vp and Ktrans were closely associated with plaque Vp and Ktrans.
      • Rosuvastatin reduced both adventitial and plaque Vp significantly at 3 months.
      • Ktrans showed nonstatistically significant decrease during therapy.


      Statin therapy can improve plaque stability. However, the time course of effects of statin on adventitial angiogenesis and plaque neovascularization has not been studied.


      The objective of the study was to investigate whether statin therapy reduces plaque neovascularization, associated with adventitial angiogenesis, over 24 months as assessed by using carotid dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI).


      Forty-three lipid treatment–naïve subjects with asymptomatic carotid atherosclerosis received rosuvastatin (5–20 mg/d) to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to <80 mg/dL for 24 months. Carotid DCE-MRI was performed at baseline, 3, 12 and 24 months. Vascularity (Vp = fractional plasma volume) and vascular permeability (Ktrans = transfer constant) derived from kinetic modeling of DCE-MRI were measured in both adventitia and plaque.


      Adventitia Vp and adventitia Ktrans were significantly correlated with plaque Vp and plaque Ktrans at baseline. Rosuvastatin significantly reduced both adventitial and plaque Vp significantly at 3 months from 0.121 ± 0.064 to 0.085 ± 0.049 (P = .008) and from 0.096 ± 0.052 to 0.067 ± 0.043 (P = .013). Adventitial and plaque Vp continued to decrease by 43% and 34% at 12 months and by 49% and 45% at 24 months. However, the continued reductions from 3 to 12 months and from 12 to 24 months were not statistically significant. Adventitial and plaque Ktrans showed similar trends, but nonstatistically significant decreases during the 24 months of treatment.


      Rosuvastatin therapy rapidly and significantly decreased adventitial and plaque neovascularization at 3 months followed by continued, but nonstatistically significant, decreases at 12 and 24 months.


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