Pravastatin effectively lowers LDL cholesterol in familial combined hyperlipidemia without changing LDL subclass pattern.
Familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL) is the most common genetic lipid disorder among young survivors of myocardial infarction. Elevations of plasma total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and the prevalence of small, dense LDL particles are both involved in the high coronary risk of FCHL patients. We investigated the ability of pravastatin to favorably correct plasma lipid and lipoprotein levels and LDL structure in FCHL patients. Twelve patients with FCHL, documented by studies of first-degree relatives, received pravastatin (40 mg/d) for 12 weeks. Pravastatin significantly lowered plasma total and LDL cholesterol levels by 21% and 32%, respectively. Triglyceride levels did not change, and apolipoprotein B (apoB) concentrations decreased by 9% (P = NS). High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol increased by 6% because of a significant 73% rise of HDL2 cholesterol. LDL were smaller (diameter, 24.5 +/- 0.5 nm), less buoyant, and apoB-rich (cholesteryl ester-apoB ratio, 1.64 +/- 0.46) in the selected patients compared with patients with familial hypercholesterolemia or healthy control subjects. LDL became even smaller (23.8 +/- 0.6 nm) and richer in apoB (cholesteryl ester-apoB ratio, 1.27 +/- 0.52) after pravastatin treatment. Although pravastatin favorably altered plasma lipid and lipoprotein levels in FCHL patients, the abnormal LDL particle distribution and composition were not affected. Because of the apparent resistance of the small, dense LDL to drug-induced modifications, a maximal lipid-lowering effect is needed to reduce coronary risk in FCHL patients.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association