Background - Short-term administration of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, statins, has been shown to attenuate ischemia-reperfusion injury. However, the effects of long-term administration of statins on left ventricular (LV) remodeling and failure after myocardial infarction remain unknown. Methods and Results - Mice were subjected to coronary artery ligation and were treated for 4 weeks with vehicle or fluvastatin (10 mg/kg per day PO). Fluvastatin increased survival (61% versus 86%; P<0.05) without affecting the infarct size (52±2% versus 49±3%; P=NS). Fluvastatin not only attenuated LV dilatation but also decreased LV end-diastolic pressure and lung weight. Furthermore, it reduced cardiac myocyte hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis of the noninfarcted LV and also improved LV ejection performance. LV matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-13 were increased in myocardial infarction, which was attenuated in fluvastatin-treated mice. Conclusions - Fluvastatin increased survival in a murine model of postinfarct heart failure, which was associated with the amelioration of LV structural remodeling and contractile failure. Moreover, these effects were associated with the attenuation of increased MMP activity. Thus, long-term treatment with fluvastatin might be beneficial also in patients with heart failure and might improve their long-term survival.
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