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Critical Care

Volume 12 Supplement 5

Sepsis 2008

Open Access

Statin anti-inflammatory therapy in septic patients

  • Celso Montoya González1,
  • Ariadna Hernández Luna1,
  • Manuel Poblano Morales1,
  • Janet Aguirre Sanchez1,
  • Claudia Olvera Guzman1 and
  • Juvenal Franco Granillo1
Critical Care200812(Suppl 5):P26

Published: 18 November 2008


Treatment GroupStatinSedimentation RateSimvastatinInflammatory Marker


Statins have a well-known pleiotrophic effect as anti-inflammatory agents, immunomodulators, antioxidants, antithrombotic agents and endothelial stabilizers. Statins, however, have been proposed as a therapeutic tool in septic patients.


To investigate possible statin therapeutic uses in the induced sepsis inflammatory process.


A prospective, longitudinal, experimental study was performed from November 2007 to March 2008 of 40 consecutive septic patients who were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: treatment group (received 80 mg daily simvastatin for 14 days) or control group (did not receive simvastatin). Inflammatory markers (sedimentation rate (SR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and antitrombin III) were measured on days 0, 5, 10 and 14. Results are expressed as the median (25th–75th interquartile interval) and groups were compared with the Mann–Whitney U test.


The SR diminished from 34 (21 to 45) to 19 (14 to 23) in the treatment group, versus the control group where it increased from 28 (21 to 40) to 36 (27 to 50), with P < 0.01 when both groups were compared. CRP behaved in a similar way, diminishing in the treatment group and increasing in the control group. On day 14, the SR and CRP reached normal values: 4 (2 to 6) and 1 (0 to 2), respectively, in the treatment group versus 22 (19 to 36) and 8 (4 to 14), respectively, in the control group (P < 0.001). Antithrombin III increased in both groups, from 33 (28 to 50) to 90 (88 to 98) in the treatment group and from 33 (29 to 50) to 50 (48 to 55) in the control group (P < 0.01). The length of stay was longer in the control group: 22 (18 to 26) days versus 15 (14 to 16) days in the treatment group (P < 0.01).


The present study demonstrates that statins are able to decrease the systemic inflammatory response and provide endothelial increased stability properties from the fifth treatment day; reducing the mechanical ventilation time rates, and so on, with the patient's long stay.

Authors’ Affiliations

Critical Care Unit 'Dr. Mario Shapiro', ABC Medical Center, Mexico City, Mexico


© González et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.