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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.04.24

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July 2009
May 2008
M. Shani, J. Dresner, and S. Vinker.

Background: The introduction of more potent statins such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin in Israel was accompanied by massive advertising about their superiority.

Objectives: To assess the need for switching therapy from older statins to more potent ones among diabetic patients with uncontrolled hypercholesterolemia.

Methods: Data on all diabetic patients over 30 years old attending two urban clinics were extracted and analyzed. For each patient we checked the last low density lipoprotein-cholesterol measurements for the year 2006, the brand and the dose of cholesterol-lowering medications, prescriptions and actual purchasing over a 4 month period prior to the last LDL-C[1] measurement, and whether treatment changes were necessary to achieve the LDL-C target (100 mg/dl or 70 mg/dl).

Results: The study population comprised 630 patients, age 66.7 ± 12.6 years, of whom 338 (53.6%) were women. Of the 533 (84.6%) patients whose LDL-C was measured in 2006, 45 (8.1%) had levels < 70 mg/dl and 184 (33.3%) had levels of 70 mg/dl < LDL-C < 100 m/dl.  The reasons for LDL-C > 100 mg/dl were patients not prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs (38.3%), partial compliance (27.2%), and under-dosage of statins (15.4%); only 7.7% needed to switch to a more potent statin. Reasons for LDL-C > 70 mg/dl were patients not prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs (34.3%), partial compliance (22.0%), and under-dosage of statins (26.6%); only 8.7% needed to switch to a more potent statin.

Conclusions: Only a small minority of diabetic patients with uncontrolled hypercholesterolemia need one of the potent statins as the next treatment step. More emphasis on compliance and dose adjustment is needed to achieve the target LDL-C level.






[1] LDL-C = low density lipoprotein-cholesterol


December 2006
E. Zimlichman, M. Szyper-Kravitz, U. Katz and Y. Shoenfeld
December 2005
R. Bitzur, D. Harats

Epidemiologic data demonstrate a long-linear realationship between low density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels and risk of coronary heart disease.

November 2005
M. Shechter, R. Beigel, S. Matetzky, D. Freimark, P. Chouraqui.
 Statins play an important role in the treatment and prevention of coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis. Currently, however, despite its important qualities, the use of statin therapy in the treatment of CAD patients ranges only between 30 and 60% in Europe, the United States and Israel. A wide gap still exists between the numerous scientific publications demonstrating the beneficial effects of statins and the low rate of implementing the guidelines in practice. A Medline search up to June 2005 on all prospective, double-blind, randomized clinical trials evaluating the impact of intensive statin therapy (any statin dose >40 mg/daily) on clinical outcomes after a 1 year follow-up revealed only eight trials. In all the eight trials, with a follow-up period of 12–60 months, intensive statin therapy was significantly more effective than and at least as safe as placebo or other standard statin regimens. Thus, based on the current evidence-based medicine, intensive statin therapy enables more patients with CAD to achieve the current National Cholesterol Education Program goal for low density lipoprotein, while ensuring a relatively high safety profile.


 

A. Yellin, S.T. Zwas, J. Rozenman, D.A. Simansky and E. Goshen
Background: Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy has been used widely for the evaluation of neuroendocrine tumors in the gastrointestinal tract. Its use for detecting and staging thoracic carcinoids is only sporadically reported.
Objectives: To evaluate the possible roles of SRS[1] in the management of proven or suspected pulmonary carcinoids. 

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of all patients undergoing SRS for known or suspected pulmonary carcinoids in a tertiary referral center during a 10 year period. During this period 89 patients underwent resection of pulmonary carcinoids and SRS was used for detection, staging or localization purposes in 8 of them (9%). Scans were labeled true positive, true negative, false positive, or false negative in comparison with histologic or follow-up results. 

Results: SRS was true positive in 6/6 lung locations; true positive in 2/8, true negative in 4/8 and false positive in 2/8 lymph node locations; and true positive in 1/8, true negative in 6/8 and false negative in 1/8 distant locations. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and accuracy were 90%, 83%, 83%, 91% and 87% respectively. The scans were strongly positive in the tumors and involved lymph nodes. SRS correctly localized an occult secreting pulmonary carcinoid. Granulomatous and reactive lymph nodes showed increased uptake. SRS was accurate in ruling out distant metastases. 

Conclusions: SRS is effective for visualizing and localizing pulmonary carcinoids. It assists in the staging of these tumors by detecting lymph node involvement and confirming or ruling out distant metastases. Inflamatory areas in the lung or lymph nodes may be falsely positive.


[1] SRS = somatostatin receptor scintigraphy

 
December 2004
E. Magen, R. Viskoper, J. Mishal, R. Priluk, A. Berezovsky, A. Laszt, D. London and C. Yosefy

Background: Hypertension is considered resistant if blood pressure cannot be reduced to <140/90 mmHg with an appropriate triple-drug regimen, including an oral diuretic, with all agents administered at maximal dosages. This definition has evolved with the development of new therapies and evidence-based data supporting treatment to lower BP[1] goals.

Objective: To assess whether vitamin C and atorvastatin improve endothelial function and blood pressure control in subjects with resistant arterial hypertension and dyslipidemia.

Methods: Forty-eight hyperlipidemic subjects with RH[2] (office systolic BP >140 mmHg and/or office diastolic BP >90 mm/Hg notwithstanding antihypertensive treatment with three medications in maximal doses) were randomized into three groups to receive additional medication for 8 weeks. Group VTC (n = 17) – mean 24 hour SBP[3] 150.6 ± 5.2 mmHg, DBP[4] 86.1 ± 3.3 mmHg, low density lipoprotein 158.1 ± 24.5 mg/dl) – received vitamin C 500 mg per day; Group ATR (n = 15) – mean 24 hour SBP 153.1 ± 4.8 mmHg, DBP 87.1 ± 6.7 mmHg, LDL[5] 162.6 ± 13.6 mg/dl) – received atorvastatin 20 mg/day; and Group PLA (n = 16) – mean 24 hour SBP 151.1 ± 7.4 mmHg, DBP 84.8 ± 5.9 mmHg, LDL 156.7 ± 26.1 mg/dl – received a placebo. High resolution ultrasound was used to calculate brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, and 24 hour ambulatory BP monitoring was performed at study entry and after 8 weeks.

Results: In the ATR group there were significant reductions of SBP (DSBP1-2: 13.7 ± 5.6 mmHg, P < 0.001), DBP (DDBP1-2: 7.8 ± 5.7 mmHg, P < 0.01), LDL (DLDL1-2: 67.7 ± 28.3 mg/dl, P < 0.001) and improvement of brachial artery FMD[6] (DFMD2-1: 4.2 ± 2.6%). No significant changes in BP, LDL and FMD were observed in the other two groups.

Conclusions: In subjects with RH and dyslipidemia, atorvastatin 20 mg/day compared to vitamin C 500 mg/day may help to achieve better BP control and improve endothelial function in a finite period. A larger trial is needed to assess the drug's efficacy in this population for longer periods.






[1] BP = blood pressure

[2] RH = resistant arterial hypertension

[3] SBP = systolic BP

[4] DBP = diastolic BP

[5] LDL = low density lipoprotein

[6] FMD = flow-mediated dilation


August 2004
E. Leibovitz, N. Hazanov, A. Frieman, I. Elly and D. Gavish

Background: Elevated fibrinogen levels are considered a risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis and might be used as a predictor of risk for the development of atherothrombotic events. Several studies have reached equivocal conclusions regarding the effect of statins on fibrinogen.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of atorvastatin on plasma fibrinogen levels in patients with severe hypercholesterolemia and no other risk factors.

Methods: Twenty-two patients with low density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels above 170 mg/dl (4.40 mmol/L) and with no other risk factors were included in the study. None of the patients had ever received hypolipidemic medication. Patients were followed for 24 weeks (6 office visits 4 weeks apart). During office visits, lipid profile, complete blood count, fibrinogen and C-reactive protein levels were measured.

Results: After 24 weeks of follow-up, total cholesterol decreased by 33% (287 ± 10 to 192 ± 8 mg/dl, P < 0.001), LDL-C[1] by 45% (198 ± 8 to 111 ± 7 mg/dl, P < 0.001) and triglycerides by 21% (189 ± 26 to 138 ± 15 mg/dl, P <0.001). Fibrinogen levels dropped by 18% (355 ± 26 to 275 ± 7 mg/dl, P = 0.01). CRP[2] levels decreased from 0.51 ± 0.15 to 0.28 ± 0.10 mg/dl, but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.09). High density lipoprotein, hemoglobin, white blood cell and platelet counts did not change.

Conclusions: We found that atorvastatin reduces plasma fibrinogen in patients with hypercholesterolemia.






[1] LDL-C = low density lipoprotein-cholesterol

[2] CRP = C-reactive protein


September 2002
Dov Gavish, MD, Eyal Leibovitz, MD, Itzhak Elly, MD, Marina Shargorodsky, MD and Reuven Zimlichman, MD

Background: The implementation of treatment guidelines is lacking worldwide.

Objectives: To examine whether follow-up in a specialized lipid clinic improves the achievement rate of the treatment guidelines, as formulated by the National Cholesterol Education Program and the Sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

Methods: The study group included patients who were referred to the lipid clinic because of hyperlipidemia. At each of five visits over a 12 month period, lipid levels, liver and creatine kinase levels, body mass index, and adherence to diet and medications were measured, and achievement of the NCEP[1] target level was assessed.

Results: A total of 1,133 patients (mean age 61.3 years, 60% males) were studied. Additional risk factors for atherosclerosis included hypertension (41%), type II diabetes mellitus (21%), smoking (17%), and a positive family history of coronary artery disease (32%). All patients had evidence of atherosclerotic vascular disease (coronary, cerebrovascular or peripheral vascular diseases). The low density lipoprotein target of <100 mg was present in only 22% of patients before enrollment, with improvement of up to 57% after the follow-up period. During follow-up, blood pressure control was improved (from 38% at the time of referral to 88% after 12 months, P < 0.001), as was glycemic control in diabetic patients (HgA1C improved from 8.2% to 7.1% after 12 months, P < 0.001). Improved risk factor control was due to increased compliance to medication treatment (from 66% at enrollment to more than 90% after 12 months), as well as careful attention to risk factor management that translated into a change in the treatment profile during the follow-up. There was an increase in the use of the following medications: aspirin from 68% to 96%, statins from 42% to 88%, beta blockers from 20% to 40%, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors from 28% to 42%; while calcium channel blocker use decreased from 40% to 30% in patients during follow-up.

Conclusion: Follow-up of patients in a specialized clinic enhances the achievement of LDL[2]-cholesterol treatment goals as well as other risk factor treatment goals, due to increased patient compliance and increased use of medications.

________________________________________________



[1] NCEP = National Cholesterol Education Program

[2] LDL = low density lipoprotein


June 2002
Eyal Leibovitz, MD, Dror Harats, MD and Dov Gavish, MD

Background: Hyperlipidemia is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease. Reducing low density lipoprotein-cholesterol can significantly reduce the risk of CHD[1], but many patients fail to reach the target LDL-C[2] goals due to low doses of statins or low compliance.

Objectives: To treat high risk patients with atorvastatin in order to reach LDL-C goals (either primary or secondary prevention) of the Israel Atherosclerosis Society.

Methods: In this open-label study of 3,276 patients (1,698 of whom were males, 52%), atorvastatin 10 mg was given as a first dose, with follow-up and adjustment of the dose every 6 weeks. While 1,670 patients did not receive prior hypolipidemic treatment, 1,606 were treated with other statins, fibrates or the combination of both.

Results: After 6 weeks of treatment, 70% of the patients who did not receive prior hypolipidemic medications and who needed primary prevention reached target LDL-C levels. Interestingly, a similar number of patients on prior hypolipidemic treatment reached the LDL-C goals for primary prevention. The patients treated with other statins, fibrates or both did not reach the LDL-C treatment goals. Only 34% of all patients who needed secondary prevention reached the ISA[3] LDL-C target of 100 mg/dl. Atorvastatin proved to be completely safe; only two patients had creatine kinase elevation above 500 U/L, and another six had mild CK[4] elevation (<500 U/L). None of the patients had clinical myopathy, and only one had to be withdrawn from the study.

Conclusion: Atorvastatin is a safe and effective drug that enables most patients requiring primary prevention to reach LDL-C goal levels, even with a low dose of 10 mg. Patients in need of secondary prevention usually require higher doses of statins.

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[1] CHD = coronary heart disease


[2] LDL-C = low density lipoprotein-cholesterol


[3] ISA = Israel Atherosclerosis Society


[4] CK = creatine kinase




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