Background: Recent lipid-lowering trials have reported that statin therapy may retard progression or stimulate regression of human coronary plaque. In the present study volumetric intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) analyses were performed to investigate the effect of pitavastatin, a newly developed statin, on regression of human coronary plaque. Methods and Results: Eighty-two patients matched for age and gender from 870 consecutive patients undergoing IVUS guided percutaneous coronary intervention were retrospectively assigned to either lipid-lowering therapy (n=41; pitavastatin 2 mg/day) or control group (n=41; diet only). Serial volumetric IVUS analyses of a matched left main coronary arterial site were performed. A significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) level of 33.2% (p<0.001) was observed in the pitavastatin group. Plaque volume index (PVI) was significantly reduced in the pitavastatin group (10.6±9.4% decrease) compared with the control group (8.1±14.0% increase, p<0.001). There were positive correlations between the percent change in the PVI and follow-up LDL-C level (r=0.500, p<0.001) and the percent change in LDL-C level (r=0.479, p<0.001). Conclusion: Lipid-lowering therapy with pitavastatin induced significant coronary plaque regression, associated with a significant reduction in the LDL-C level. The percent change in the PVI showed a significant positive correlation with the percent change in LDL-C level.
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