The aim of this literature review is to assess the experimental and clinical evidence regarding potential neuroprotective effects of statins and their possible perioperative benefit. Statins are drugs used to control cholesterol disorders and prevent cardiovascular diseases by four mechanisms: improvement of endothelial function, modulation of inflammatory responses, maintenance of plaque stability, and prevention of thrombus formation. It is possible that these various effects may also be neuroprotective. The anti-inflammatory effects of statins on endothelial cell mechanisms are better understood than their role in neuroprotection or tumoral apoptosis and evidence is only just emerging that statins may be beneficial. Data regarding perioperative use of statins in neurosurgery is scarce, controversial and inconclusive since there is a lack of convincing randomized, prospective clinical trials. More trials in humans are needed to determine whether statins could contribute to the current management of neurosurgical diseases. Not much is known about utilizing statins as a prophylactic treatment and some would probably advocate that we should be treating 'at risk' patients with statins perioperatively or at least it is important to try to put this into a clinical perspective.
- Statins in neurosurgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine