Postoperative Myocardial Injury and Inflammation Is Not Blunted by a Trial of Atorvastatin in Orthopedic Surgery Patients

Anne R. Bass, Jackie D. Szymonifka, Matthew T. Rondina, Margaret Bogardus, Mitchell G. Scott, Scott C. Woller, Scott M. Stevens, Charles Eby, Kerri Merritt, Alejandro Gonzalez Della Valle, Gerard Moskowitz, Eva Flores, Brian F. Gage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Orthopedic patients are at risk for adverse postoperative cardiovascular outcomes. Questions/Purposes: This pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of atorvastatin vs. placebo in orthopedic surgery patients was performed in order to assess: (1) the prevalence of perioperative myocardial injury; (2) the effect of atorvastatin on perioperative inflammation; and (3) the feasibility of performing a large RCT of statin therapy in orthopedic patients. Methods: Hip fracture (hip Fx) and total hip and knee replacement (THR and TKR) patients were randomized 1:1 to atorvastatin 40 mg daily vs. placebo, starting preoperatively and continuing until postoperative day (POD) 45. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured preoperatively and on POD 2. Patients were monitored for adverse events until POD 90. Results: Five hundred fifty-six patients were screened, 22 were recruited (4 hip Fx, 11 THR, 7 TKR), and 2 withdrew. Most (80%) had detectable hs-cTnI (> 1.1 pg/mL) preoperatively. Twenty percent had a perioperative rise in hs-cTnI (≥ 10 pg/mL), which was not blunted by atorvastatin. Hs-CRP rose in 19/20 patients, and IL-6 rose in all patients. However, atorvastatin did not blunt the rise in these inflammatory biomarkers. On POD 2, IL-6 and hs-cTnI levels correlated (ρ = 0.59, p = 0.02). Recruitment was limited by the high prevalence of statin use in the screened population and a high prevalence of exclusions among hip fracture patients. Conclusion: Perioperative myocardial injury and inflammation are common in orthopedic patients and do not appear to be reduced in those randomized to atorvastatin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalHSS Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • C-reactive protein
  • inflammation
  • interleukin-6
  • myocardial ischemia
  • orthopedics
  • troponin


Dive into the research topics of 'Postoperative Myocardial Injury and Inflammation Is Not Blunted by a Trial of Atorvastatin in Orthopedic Surgery Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this