Statin therapy plays an important role in stabilizing and regressing coronary artery plaques. Omega-3 supplements also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on coronary plaques. However, the effect of omega-3 supplementation on the basis of statin therapy on the stability and composition of plaques, is still unclear. We searched for randomized controlled trials published prior to November 2020 in the PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases. Finally, eight studies using different imaging techniques to evaluate coronary atherosclerotic plaque, including optical coherence tomography (OCT), coronary CT angiography (cCTA) and intravascular ultrasound (IB-IVUS), met our inclusion criteria. We pooled data extracted from the included studies using the standardized mean difference (SMD) or mean difference (MD) of the random effects model. Compared with statin treatment alone, the combined treatment further delayed the progression of total plaque volume [SMD -0.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.64 to -0.08, p = 0.01] and fiber content (SMD -0.40, 95% CI -0.68 to -0.13, p = 0.004). The plasma high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) level of patients in the combination treatment group was significantly lower than that of the patients in the statin treatment group alone (SMD -0.30, 95% CI -0.59 to -0.01, p = 0.04). In addition, the combined use of omega-3 further increases the fibrous cap thickness (FCT) of the plaque with an MD of 29.45 μm. There were no significant differences in plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), or lipid content in plaques between the two groups. Omega-3 combined with statins is superior to the statin treatment group in stabilizing and promoting coronary plaque regression and may help to further reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular events.
Heze Fan, Juan Zhou, Zuyi Yuan