Statins are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in clinical practice. They are usually well tolerated and effectively prevent cardiovascular events. Most adverse effects associated with statin therapy are muscle-related. The recent statement of the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) has focused on statin associated muscle symptoms (SAMS), and avoided the use of the term ‘statin intolerance’. Although muscle syndromes are the most common adverse effects observed after statin therapy, excluding other side effects might underestimate the number of patients with statin intolerance, which might be observed in 10–15% of patients. In clinical practice, statin intolerance limits effective treatment of patients at risk of, or with, cardiovascular disease. Knowledge of the most common adverse effects of statin therapy that might cause statin intolerance and the clear definition of this phenomenon is crucial to effectively treat patients with lipid disorders. Therefore, the aim of this position paper was to suggest a unified definition of statin intolerance, and to complement the recent EAS statement on SAMS, where the pathophysiology, diagnosis and the management were comprehensively presented.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have a key role in innate immunity. These receptors recognize both pathogen-associated molecular patterns and molecules that are released from damaged tissue. TLRs mediate signal transduction pathways through the activation of transcription factors that regulate the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines and are required for the development of adaptive immune responses. TLRs might have an important role in the pathogenesis of renal diseases: their exaggerated activation is associated with ischemic kidney damage, acute kidney injury, end-stage renal failure, acute tubulointerstitial nephritis, acute renal transplant rejection and delayed allograft function. As the results of previous studies concerning the role of TLRs in renal diseases are conflicting, further work is needed to determine the exact role of these receptors and to evaluate strategies to prevent TLR-mediated local inflammation. This Review discusses the evidence supporting a role for TLRs in contrasting bacterial infections and in causing or aggravating renal conditions when TLR activation leads to a harmful inflammatory response.
In its early stages, symptoms of chronic kidney disease (CKD) are usually not apparent. Significant reduction of the kidney function is the first obvious sign of disease. If diagnosed early (stages 1 to 3), the progression of CKD can be altered and complications reduced. In stages 4 and 5 extensive kidney damage is observed, which usually results in end-stage renal failure. Currently, the diagnosis of CKD is made usually on the levels of blood urea and serum creatinine (sCr), however, sCr has been shown to be lacking high predictive value. Due to the development of genomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, the introduction of novel techniques will allow for the identification of novel biomarkers in renal diseases. This review presents some new possible biomarkers in the diagnosis of CKD and in the prediction of outcome, including asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA), uromodulin, kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), miRNA, ncRNA, and lincRNA biomarkers and proteomic and metabolomic biomarkers. Complicated pathomechanisms of CKD development and progression require not a single marker but their combination in order to mirror all types of alterations occurring in the course of this disease. It seems that in the not so distant future, conventional markers may be exchanged for new ones, however, confirmation of their efficacy, sensitivity and specificity as well as the reduction of analysis costs are required.
Statins are the most common drugs administered for patients with cardiovascular disease. However, due to statin-associated muscle symptoms, adherence to statin therapy is challenging in clinical practice. Certain nutraceuticals, such as red yeast rice, bergamot, berberine, artichoke, soluble fiber, and plant sterols and stanols alone or in combination with each other, as well as with ezetimibe, might be considered as an alternative or add-on therapy to statins, although there is still insufficient evidence available with respect to long-term safety and effectiveness on cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment. These nutraceuticals could exert significant lipid-lowering activity and might present multiple non-lipid-lowering actions, including improvement of endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness, as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. The aim of this expert opinion paper is to provide the first attempt at recommendation on the management of statin intolerance through the use of nutraceuticals with particular attention on those with effective low-density lipoprotein cholesterol reduction.
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