Statin treatment and stroke outcome in the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) trial.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Laboratory experiments suggest statins reduce stroke severity and improve outcomes. The Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) trial was a placebo-controlled, randomized trial designed to determine whether treatment with atorvastatin reduces strokes in subjects with recent stroke or transient ischemic attack (n=4731). We analyzed SPARCL trial data to determine whether treatment favorably shifts the distribution of severities of ischemic cerebrovascular outcomes. METHODS: Severity was assessed with the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, Barthel Index, and modified Rankin Scale score at enrollment (1 to 6 months after the index event) and 90 days poststroke in subjects having a stroke during the trial. RESULTS: Over 4.9 years, strokes occurred in 576 subjects. There were reductions in fatal, severe (modified Rankin Scale score 5 or 4), moderate (modified Rankin Scale score 3 or 2), and mild (modified Rankin Scale score 1 or 0) outcome ischemic strokes and transient ischemic attacks and an increase in the proportion of event-free subjects randomized to atorvastatin (P<0.001 unadjusted and adjusted). Results were similar for all outcome events (ischemic and hemorrhagic, P<0.001 unadjusted and adjusted) with no effect on outcome hemorrhagic stroke severity (P=0.174 unadjusted, P=0.218 adjusted). If the analysis is restricted to those having an outcome ischemic stroke (ie, excluding those having a transient ischemic attack or no event), there was only a trend toward lesser severity with treatment based on the modified Rankin Scale score (P=0.0647) with no difference based on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale or Barthel Index. CONCLUSIONS: The present exploratory analysis suggests that the outcome of recurrent ischemic cerebrovascular events might be improved among statin users as compared with nonusers.
Goldstein, LB; Amarenco, P; Zivin, J; Messig, M; Altafullah, I; Callahan, A; Hennerici, M; MacLeod, MJ; Sillesen, H; Zweifler, R; Michael, K; Welch, A; Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels Investigators,
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