This study was published in Stroke 2009 May;40(5):1729-37
Study title and authors:
Prior statin use, intracranial hemorrhage, and outcome after intra-arterial thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke.
Meier N, Nedeltchev K, Brekenfeld C, Galimanis A, Fischer U, Findling O, Remonda L, Schroth G, Mattle HP, Arnold M.
Department of Neurology, Inselspital, University Hospital Bern and University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19265056
Ischemic stroke occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked. Intra-arterial thrombolysis is a medical intervention that breaks down the blockages by pharmacological means. A complication of intra-arterial thrombolysis is intracranial (brain) hemorrhage.
The study evaluated the influence of statin pretreatment and cholesterol levels on the incidence of intracranial hemorrhage in 311 patients with acute ischemic stroke receiving intra-arterial thrombolysis treatment.
The study found:
(a) The cholesterol levels of patients who had an intracranial hemorrhage were 2.5% lower than patients who did not have an intracranial hemorrhage.
(b) Statin uses had a 210% increased risk of an intracranial hemorrhage compared to nonusers.
(c) Three months after their stroke, statin users had a 59% increased risk of death compared to nonusers.
The study shows that prior statin use is associated with a higher frequency of intracranial hemorrhage after intra-arterial thrombolysis treatment for ischemic stroke.