Effect of statin on arginine metabolites in treated HIV-infection

Sahera Dirajlal-Fargo, Vanessa El Kamari, Abdus Sattar, Khurshid Alam, Nicholas Funderburg, Danielle Labbato, Lisa Pirro, Chris T. Longenecker, Wai Hong Wilson, Grace A. McComsey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and aims Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an inhibitor of nitric oxide and an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We examined the effect of statin on ADMA in HIV + patients on stable ART, and whether such an effect contributes to the favorable changes on carotid intima media thickness. Methods This is a secondary analysis of SATURN-HIV, in which HIV + adults on stable ART with HIV-1 RNA< 1000 copies/mL and LDL-cholesterol <130 mg/dL were randomized to 10 mg daily rosuvastatin or placebo. Arginine metabolites, ADMA, and markers of inflammation were assessed at baseline and 48 weeks. Carotid intima media thickness (c-IMT) was measured at baseline, 48 and 96 weeks. Spearman correlations, and linear mixed-effect models were used to study relationships among variables. Results Overall, 79% were male, 68% African Americans, with a median age of 46 years. In the statin arm, no change in ADMA levels was observed at 48 weeks (0.70%), whereas a trend towards an increase in ADMA levels (23.78%) was observed in the placebo group (p = 0.06). Elevated baseline ADMA (highest tertile) was associated with a 0.04 mm increase in c-IMT (p = 0.03) after adjusting for statin and study duration. No interaction was seen between baseline ADMA and statin randomization on change in c-IMT (p = 0.21). Conclusions In HIV + subjects on ART, rosuvastatin suppressed the increase over time in ADMA levels. Elevated baseline levels of ADMA were associated with increases in c-IMT, regardless of statin assignment. The favorable effect of rosuvastatin on c-IMT appears to be independent of the arginine pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • ADMA
  • Arginine
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • HIV
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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