Hemostatic variables in homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. Effect of regular plasma cholesterol removal by low density lipoprotein apheresis.
Plasma levels of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI) and the in vitro ability of platelets to aggregate and of monocytes to express procoagulant (tissue factor) activity (PCA) were evaluated in five patients who are homozygous for familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) before and after a single and a regular 5-month cholesterol removal by low density lipoprotein (LDL) apheresis. The biweekly procedure resulted in a 25% to 30% reduction (approximately 150 mg/dl) in total and LDL cholesterol (both were greater than 550 mg/dl at the beginning of the study). The basal levels of t-PA antigen and fibrinolytic activity before and after 10 minutes of venous stasis, basal PAI activity, and PAI-1 antigen were comparable to controls and were not affected by LDL apheresis. Likewise, regardless of the cholesterol removal, the PCA of freshly isolated monocytes and that of monocytes incubated with lipopolysaccharide did not differ from control values. Finally, the pre-apheresis sensitivity of platelets to adenosine diphosphate, arachidonic acid, and collagen was 1.5 to 2 times the normal value. This ratio was unchanged throughout the 5-month procedure. We conclude that fibrinolysis and monocyte PCA are normal in FH patients, whereas platelet aggregation is abnormally high, and none of these parameters is significantly affected by a 25% to 30% reduction in total and LDL cholesterol by LDL apheresis. Furthermore, our data suggest that removal of cholesterol from plasma by LDL apheresis is important for gaining insight into the mechanisms involved in the ischemic complications of arteriosclerosis in FH patients.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association