Since previous studies have reported a beneficial effect of amlodipine and atorvastatin treatment in experimental atherosclerosis, we aimed to investigate the effect of the combination of both drugs on blood and plaque inflammation in patients with carotid stenosis. For that purpose, twenty six hypertensive patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy were randomized to receive either atorvastatin 20 mg/day alone (ATV, n=12) or in combination with amlodipine 20 mg/day (ATV+AML, n=14) before scheduled carotid endarterectomy. At the end of follow-up (4-6 weeks), there was a significant decrease in total and LDL-cholesterol levels, but not in blood pressure levels. In contrast, decreased MCP-1 plasma levels, NF-κB activation (EMSA) and MCP-1 mRNA expression (quantitative PCR) was only observed in blood from ATV+AML treated-patients. Moreover, carotid atherosclerotic plaques from ATV+AML group demonstrated a significant reduction in macrophage infiltration in relation to ATV group (immunohistochemistry). Our results suggest that combined treatment with atorvastatin and amlodipine decreases inflammatory status of atherosclerotic patients more than atorvastatin treatment alone, suggesting that co-administration of both drugs could have beneficial additive effects.
- Carotid artery
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