The frequency, characteristics, and outcomes of patients treated with high-intensity lipid-lowering therapy and showing concomitant atheroma volume reduction, lipid content reduction, and increase in fibrous cap thickness (ie, triple regression) are unknown.
This study was designed to investigate rates, determinants, and prognostic implications of triple regression in patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction and treated with high-intensity lipid-lowering therapy.
The PACMAN-AMI (Effects of the PCSK9 Antibody Alirocumab on Coronary Atherosclerosis in Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction) trial used serial intravascular ultrasound, near-infrared spectroscopy, and optical coherence tomography to compare the effects of alirocumab vs placebo in patients receiving high-intensity statin therapy. Triple regression was defined by the combined presence of percentage of atheroma volume reduction, maximum lipid core burden index within 4 mm reduction, and minimal fibrous cap thickness increase. Clinical outcomes at 1-year follow-up were assessed.
Overall, 84 patients (31.7%) showed triple regression (40.8% in the alirocumab group vs 23.0% in the placebo group; P = 0.002). On-treatment low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were lower in patients with vs without triple regression (between-group difference: -27.1 mg/dL; 95% CI: -37.7 to -16.6 mg/dL; P < 0.001). Triple regression was independently predicted by alirocumab treatment (OR: 2.83; 95% CI: 1.57-5.16; P = 0.001) and a higher baseline maximum lipid core burden index within 4 mm (OR: 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01-1.06; P = 0.013). The composite clinical endpoint of death, myocardial infarction, and ischemia-driven revascularization occurred less frequently in patients with vs without triple regression (8.3% vs 18.2%; P = 0.04).
Triple regression occurred in one-third of patients with acute myocardial infarction who were receiving high-intensity lipid-lowering therapy and was associated with alirocumab treatment, higher baseline lipid content, and reduced cardiovascular events. (Vascular Effects of Alirocumab in Acute MI-Patients [PACMAN-AMI]; NCT03067844).