Background: Patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) frequently experience recurrent adverse events from the cardiovascular system comparing to either healthy individuals or individuals with stable coronary artery disease. This is attributed to the inflammatory cascade that is activated during ACS resulting in increased risk for rupture of vulnerable plaques.
Objective: Therefore, it is of great importance to avoid recurrent events with treatment aiming at secondary prevention which includes the management of lipid profile besides alteration in the lifestyle and habits.
Methods: This review will present current data concerning present status of treatment with statins, and refer to non-statin strategies as well as novel and promising agents for the secondary prevention therapy after ACS. A thorough search of PubMed and the Cochrane Database was conducted in order to identify the majority of trials, studies, current guidelines and novel articles related to the subject.
Results: Statins have been proved to play very significant role in the part of secondary prevention since they decrease the burden of atherosclerotic plaques, the risk of adverse events and the need for revascularization in symptomatic patients with CAD. Therefore, they were established and suggested by both European and American guidelines as first-line treatment option for lipid-lowering management. Several clinical trials, meta- analyses and randomized trials strongly recommended the application of early and intensive treatment with statins in patients with ACS. Nevertheless, a vast majority of individuals neither tolerated statins nor achieved the optimal value for LDL-C with the highest tolerated dose of statins resulting in poor clinical outcome. Furthermore, recent clinical trials indicated further benefit of combined treatment of statins with non-statins drugs on the decrease of cardiovascular events as well as progress of coronary artery plaque. Finally, novel agents that are still evaluated with ongoing clinical trials have been turned into a very promising treatment option.
Conclusion: In conclusion, statins are established as the first-line treatment for the secondary prevention after acute coronary syndromes in order to avoid the recurrence of thrombotic events. However, the research field on the field of lipid-lowering therapies is still ongoing and very promising for the future.