Statins decrease thrombin generation in patients with hypercholesterolemia

Armando Tripodi, Fabio Pellegatta, Veena Chantarangkul, Liliana Grigore, Katia Garlaschelli, Andrea Baragetti, Laura Lemma, Alberico Catapano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Statins are cholesterol-lowering agents with antithrombotic effect possibly unrelated to their lipid-lowering properties. Traditional global coagulation tests failed, however, to reveal clinically relevant change after treatment. We therefore sought to investigate whether statins were able to modify thrombin generation in hypercholesterolemia. Methods Fifty-one patients who needed treatment with statins were enrolled in this study. Thrombin generation, assessed as endogenous thrombin potential (the amount of thrombin generated after triggering coagulation with small amount of tissue factor) was measured at pre- and two months post-treatment with statins. Results The median (inter-quartile range) level of total cholesterol that was 325 mg/dL (278-405) decreased significantly [211 mg/dL (197-247)] at post-treatment (p <0.001); the median level of HDL cholesterol that was 49 mg/dL (43-56) increased significantly [55 mg/dL (47-66)] at post-treatment (p <0.001). The median endogenous thrombin potential (inter-quartile range) before treatment was 2372 nM·min (2008-2617) and decreased to 2048 nM·min (1764-2375) (p <0.001) after treatment. Conclusion The results support the hypothesis of a direct link between statins and coagulation through their capacity to lower thrombin generation in patients with hypercholesterolemia. Practice implications The antithrombotic properties of statins could be mediated (at least in part) by their endogenous thrombin potential lowering effect. This interesting hypothesis warrants evaluation by clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-451
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Endogenous thrombin potential
  • Hypercoagulability
  • Lipids
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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