In a nutshell
The aim of this study was to see if high doses of statins (HDS) after a transient ischemic attack (TIA) reduce the risk of stroke. The main finding of the study was that HDS reduced the risk of stroke in patients with positive imaging tests.
A TIA is when there is a temporary blockage in the blood vessels of the brain. It causes the same symptoms as a stroke, but the symptoms do not last longer than 24 hours. TIAs are often referred to as “mini-strokes”. Patients who have had a TIA are at a high risk of stroke. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is a specific type of MRI scan that can reveal microscopic changes in brain tissue. DWI-positive means that the TIA has caused damage to the brain tissue. Patients with a DWI-positive scan after a TIA are at a significant risk of stroke.
Statins are medications that lower cholesterol. High cholesterol levels contribute to plaques that block blood vessels. It is not known if high doses of statins could reduce the risk of stroke in DWI-positive TIA patients.
Methods & findings
This study looked at data from 987 patients who had a TIA. 387 patients had a DWI-positive TIA and 48.1% of these were treated with HDS. The rates of stroke within 7-days and within 90-days were analyzed.
Patients who had a positive-DWI TIA had a four-fold increased risk of stroke than those that had a DWI-negative TIA. After HDS, patients with a DWI-positive TIA had a 67% reduced risk of a stroke within 7 days and a 52% reduced risk of stroke within 90-days. There were no statistically significant risk reductions in patients with a negative-DWI TIA.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that high doses of statins reduced the risk of stroke in patients with a DWI-positive TIA.
The fine print
This was a small study that analyzed data from patients that were already treated. No interventions/treatments were carried out by the authors.
Published By :
Feb 04, 2019