Statin-induced cholesterol lowering and plaque regression after 6 months of magnetic resonance imaging-monitored therapy

Joao Lima, Milind Y. Desai, Henning Steen, William P. Warren, Sandeep Gautam, Shenghan Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background - Statin therapy reduces adverse outcomes, with a minimal decrease in vessel stenosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) noninvasively detects atherosclerotic plaque (AP) reduction. We hypothesized that statin-induced AP regression can be monitored by MRI and detected earlier than previously reported and is significantly associated with its lipid-lowering effect. Methods and Results - APs in thoracic aorta were measured by combined surface/transesophageal MRI in 27 patients (treated with simvastatin 20 to 80 mg daily) before and after 6 months of therapy. AP volume and luminal dimensions were measured from 6 cross sections used to construct a 2.4-cm 3D volume of the aorta that included plaque and lumen. Method reproducibility was studied in 10 patients imaged twice, 1 week apart. AP volume was reduced from 3.3±1.4 to 2.9±1.4 cm3 at 6 months (P3, P]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2336-2341
Number of pages6
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Oct 19 2004



  • Atherosclerosis
  • Lipids
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Plaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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