Serum Lp(a) as a discriminant marker of early atherosclerotic plaque at three extracoronary sites in hypercholesterolemic men. The PCVMETRA Group.
To investigate the role of lipoprotein (a) (Lp[a]) as an atherogenic condition related to hypercholesterolemia, we studied the serum concentration of Lp(a) as measured by immunonephelometry in relation to the presence of asymptomatic echographic plaques in the peripheral arteries of 103 untreated hypercholesterolemic, normotensive, middle-aged men. Plaque was found at carotid, aortic, and femoral sites in 36%, 51%, and 53% of subjects, respectively. The Lp(a) level was higher in the group with carotid plaques than in the group without (0.29 +/- 0.20 versus 0.17 +/- 0.14 g/l, p < 0.01), not significantly higher in the group with aortics plaque than in the group without (0.24 +/- 0.19 versus 0.19 +/- 0.16 g/l), and not different between groups with and without femoral plaques (0.21 +/- 0.18 versus 0.22 +/- 0.17 g/l). A logistic regression analysis confirmed that Lp(a) was associated with carotid plaques (p = 0.004), independent of other risk factors. However, in patients with low density lipoprotein cholesterol values above the group median value (4.7 mmol/l), Lp(a) was associated not only with carotid plaques (p < 0.01) but also with aortic plaques (p < 0.05), as well as with the number of diseased sites (p = 0.02). In contrast, in patients with low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels below or equal to 4.7 mmol/l, Lp(a) only remained associated with carotid plaques (p < 0.05). Thus, in symptom-free, hypercholesterolemic men, early atherosclerosis was influenced by serum Lp(a), particularly in the carotid arteries, as well as by the presence of a higher level of low density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association