Despite previous 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.
But 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.