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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2007 Feb;11(2):181-9.

MTP inhibition as a treatment for dyslipidaemias: time to deliver or empty promises?

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  • 1PathWest Laboratory Medicine, Department of Core Clinical Pathology & Biochemistry, Royal Perth Hospital, Wellington Street Campus, GPO Box X2213, Perth, WA 6847, Australia.


The development of cholesterol-lowering drugs, including a statins, bile acid sequestrants and cholesterol absorption inhibitors has expanded the options for cardiovascular prevention. Recent treatment guidelines emphasise that individuals at substantial risk for atherosclerotic coronary heart disease should meet defined lipid targets. Combination therapy with drugs that have different and complementary mechanisms of action is often needed to achieve these goals. Existing approaches to the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia are still ineffective in halting the progression of coronary artery disease in some patients despite combination therapies. Other patients are resistant to, or intolerant of, conventional pharmacotherapy and remain at high-risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so that alternative approaches are needed. New agents, including inhibitors of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP), may play a future role, either alone or in combination, in the treatment of hyperlipidaemias. This review focuses on novel approaches to treat dyslipidaemias via the inhibition of MTP. Patients most suitable for use of MTP inhibitors include those with hepatic hypersecretion of apoB, including the metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes mellitus and familial combined hyperlipidaemia, as well as homozygous and heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia. However, certain safety issues with these agents need resolving, particularly fatty liver disease.

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