Statins fail to reduce mortality rates in sepsis patients with acute respiratory distress

May 20, 2014

Despite previously-reported observational and basic science evidence suggesting the use of statins may improve outcomes in patients with sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a double-blinded clinical trial of rosuvastatin in those patients was futile, and the study was halted.

The findings are published in the May 18, 2014 New England Journal of Medicine, along with accompanying editorials evaluating the research’s goals and outcomes. The primary investigator and lead author of the study is Jonathon D. Truwit, M.D., professor of medicine and enterprise chief medical officer and senior administrative dean at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Despite improvements in supportive care for ARDS, the mortality rate remains high, one in four patients die. Sepsis is the major reason patients develop ARDS. Statins have been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent ARDS in basic science studies, and have also been reported in observational studies to improve outcomes in patients with sepsis and ARDS.

In this study, patients received either the rosuvastatin or a placebo, and the study was double-blinded. After 745 of the proposed 1000 patients had been enrolled in the multi-center trial, the study was halted because there was no significant difference between the study groups. Further, the rosuvastatin therapy may have contributed to hepatic and renal organ dysfunction.

“While this therapy did not lead to better outcomes, it is important that we evaluate possible therapies for conditions such as ARDS because it adds to our knowledge about this condition, which has a high mortality rate for patients. The information gathered in this study will guide further basic and clinical research to ultimately improve our care for critically ill patients,” said Dr. Truwit.

The other members of the writing committee for the paper are Gordon R. Bernard, M.D., Vanderbilt University, Nashville; Jay Steingrub, M.D., Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA, and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston; Michael A. Matthay, M.D., and Kathleen D. Liu, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco; Timothy E. Albertson, M.D., Ph.D., University of California - Davis, Sacramento; Roy G. Brower, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, and Carl Shanholtz, M.D., and Peter Rock, M.D., University of Maryland — both in Baltimore; Ivor S. Douglas, M.D., Denver Health Medical
Center and University of Colorado, Denver; Bennett P. deBoisblanc, M.D., Louisiana
State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans; Catherine L. Hough, M.D., University of Washington, Seattle; R. Duncan Hite, M.D., Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland; and B. Taylor Thompson, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

This study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the investigator-sponsored study program of AstraZeneca.

Community Watch

» Anodyne Coffee plans to open location in Wauwatosa Village Updated:  7/29

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Menomonee Falls baseball virtuoso Ty Weber and Big Ten Media Day Updated:  7/29

» Wauwatosa West girls basketball coach Ashley Imperiale resigns 7/26

» Store owners, police weigh in on string of protests at Mayfair mall Updated:  7/26

» Tosa police will not release squad video of officer-involved shooting Updated:  7/25

» Wauwatosa school district files lawsuit against WIAA over conference realignment Updated:  7/25

» Protest over fatal shooting forces brief closure of Mayfair Mall 7/23

» Reports into fatal Wauwatosa police shooting delivered to DA 7/22

» Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area 7/21

» Business Spotlight: Cranky Al's has grown from desperation to a Wauwatosa institution Updated:  7/20

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Wisconsin Badgers football, WIFCA All-Star game 7/20

» Michaelis leads Wauwatosa East past rival West in regional 7/20

» Milwaukee County Chargers earn overtime win over Muskego 7/20

» Activists push DA for disclosure on police killing in Wauwatosa 7/19

» Video: How a Pokémon Go newbie experienced the craze playing in Wauwatosa Updated:  7/19

» Tosa police, firefighters celebrated during First Responders Fest 7/18

» Ray's Wine & Spirits in Tosa celebrates 55 years with public party 7/15

» Wauwatosa's Relay for Life event slated for July 22 7/14

» Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley receives award for business leadership 7/14

» Video: Mayfair Collection's Bartolotta restaurants billed as 'triple threat' Updated:  7/14

» Bus rapid transit route clears two hurdles 7/13

» A look at the French restaurant Cafe Grace, opening Tuesday in Wauwatosa 7/13

» Wauwatosa West baseball team drops four of last five games 7/12

» Wauwatosa East baseball team falls to Marquette in Greater Metro semifinals 7/12

» Coalition for Justice, Black Lives Matter protest in Milwaukee, Tosa Updated:  7/12

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where our Wauwatosa reporter explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.