BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE-Statin pretreatment has been associated with improved outcomes in patients with ischemic stroke. Although several mechanisms have been examined in animal models, few have been examined in patients. We hypothesized that patients using statins before stroke onset may have greater reperfusion than patients not using statins. METHODS-Acute ischemic stroke patients underwent 2 MR scans: within 4.5 (tp1) and at 6 hours (tp2) after stroke onset. Regions of reperfusion were defined by prolonged mean transit time (MTT) at tp1, which normalized at tp2. Four MTT thresholds were assessed to ensure that results were not spuriously based on an arbitrary threshold. Baseline characteristics, relative reperfusion, and change in NIHSS between tp1 and 1-month follow-up (ΔNIHSS) were compared between patients who were using statins at stroke onset and those who were not. RESULTS-Thirty-one stroke patients were prospectively enrolled; 12 were using statins and 19 were not. Baseline characteristics did not differ between the 2 groups except the statin group had greater coronary artery disease (P=0.03). Patients using statins showed significantly greater reperfusion compared to untreated patients across all MTT thresholds. For MTT of 4 seconds, median relative reperfusion was 50% (interquartile range, 30%-56%) in the preexisting statin group versus 13% (interquartile range, 5%-36%) in the untreated group (P=0.014). The statin group had greater ΔNIHSS (8.8±4.0 points) compared to the untreated group (4.4±5.7 points; P=0.028). CONCLUSIONS-Statin use before ischemic stroke onset was associated with greater early reperfusion and NIHSS improvement. Further studies in larger populations are required to confirm our preliminary findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1307-1313
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


  • ischemic stroke
  • reperfusion
  • statin


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