Statin Intake Is Associated With Decreased Insulin Sensitivity During Cardiac Surgery

  1. Thomas Schricker, MD, PHD1
  1. 1Department of Anaesthesia, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  2. 2Department of Anesthesiology, Yamanashi University, Yamanashi, Japan
  1. Corresponding author: Hiroaki Sato, hsatou{at}


OBJECTIVE Surgical trauma impairs intraoperative insulin sensitivity and is associated with postoperative adverse events. Recently, preprocedural statin therapy is recommended for patients with coronary artery disease. However, statin is reported to increase insulin resistance and the risk of new-onset diabetes. Thus, we investigated the association between preoperative statin therapy and intraoperative insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic, dyslipidemic patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In this prospective, nonrandomized trial, patients taking lipophilic statins were assigned to the statin group and hypercholesterolemic patients not receiving any statins were allocated to the control group. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by the hyperinsulinemic-normoglycemic clamp technique during surgery. The mean, SD of blood glucose, and the coefficient of variation (CV) after surgery were calculated for each patient. The association between statin use and intraoperative insulin sensitivity was tested by multiple regression analysis.

RESULTS We studied 120 patients. In both groups, insulin sensitivity gradually decreased during surgery with values being on average ∼20% lower in the statin than in the control group. In the statin group, the mean blood glucose in the intensive care unit was higher than in the control group (153 ± 20 vs. 140 ± 20 mg/dL; P < 0.001). The oscillation of blood glucose was larger in the statin group (SD, P < 0.001; CV, P = 0.001). Multiple regression analysis showed that statin use was independently associated with intraoperative insulin sensitivity (β = −0.16; P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS Preoperative use of lipophilic statins is associated with increased insulin resistance during cardiac surgery in nondiabetic, dyslipidemic patients.

  • Received November 19, 2011.
  • Accepted April 27, 2012.

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  1. Diabetes Care
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