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Journal of Transplantation
Volume 2012, Article ID 504081, 6 pages
Clinical Study

The Effect of Statins and Other Cardiovascular Medication on Ischemia-Reperfusion Damage in a Human DIEP Flap Model: Theoretical and Epidemiological Considerations

1Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands
3Department of Methodology and Statistics, Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Received 27 August 2011; Revised 13 November 2011; Accepted 21 February 2012

Academic Editor: Jerzy Kupiec-WΔ™gliΕ„ski

Copyright © 2012 M. G. W. van den Heuvel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Statins and other cardiovascular medication possess antioxidant capacity. It was examined whether chronic use of these medications protects from the development of ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) related complications after DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Free Flap) surgery. This paper contains a literature study on the antioxidant working mechanisms of these drugs. Methods. Medical information of 134 DIEP patients (173 flaps) was studied from their medical files. Patient and operative characteristics were registered, as well as I/R related complications. Results. Of the group that didnot use statins, 16.3% developed complications versus 30.8% amongst patients that did use these drugs ( 𝑃 = 0 . 2 9 ). Amongst patients that chronically use other cardiovascular medication, 26.8% developed I/R related complications versus 14.4% of the patients without medication ( 𝑃 = 0 . 1 0 ). Conclusions. Chronic use of statins or other cardiovascular medication didnot decrease the occurrence of I/R related complications after DIEP surgery. Therefore, research should be aimed at evaluating short-term pre-treatment with statins.