OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to assess the lipid-independent effects of simvastatin on myocardial perfusion (MP) and coronary microvascular permeability index (PI) at baseline and during episodes of increased cardiac demand in experimental hypercholesterolemia. BACKGROUND: Simvastatin preserves coronary endothelial function in experimental hypercholesterolemia independent of its lipid-lowering effect. However, the functional significance of this observation is unknown. METHODS: Pigs were randomized to three groups: normal diet (N), high-cholesterol diet (HC) and HC diet plus simvastatin (HC+S) for 12 weeks. Subsequently, cardiac electron beam computed tomography was performed before and during intravenous infusion of adenosine and dobutamine, and MP and PI were calculated. RESULTS: Total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were similarly and significantly increased in HC and HC+S animals compared with N. Basal MP was similar in all groups. Myocardial perfusion significantly increased in response to either adenosine or dobutamine in N and HC+S animals. Dobutamine also significantly increased MP in HC animals. However, the changes of MP in response to either drug were significantly lower in the HC group compared with the other two groups (p < 0.01 for adenosine and p < 0.05 for dobutamine vs. N and HC+S). Basal PI was similar in ail groups and was not altered by either drug in N and HC+S animals. In contrast, PI significantly increased in HC pigs during infusion of either adenosine (p < 0.001) or dobutamine (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that chronic administration of simvastatin preserves myocardial perfusion response and coronary microvascular integrity during cardiac stress in experimental hypercholesterolemia independent of lipid lowering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine