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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Dec 6;58(24):2481-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2010.11.092.

Carriers of lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase gene mutations have accelerated atherogenesis as assessed by carotid 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging [corrected].

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  • 1Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Jan 10;59(2):196.



The aim of this study was to investigate the role of reduced lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) function on atherogenesis using 3.0-T carotid magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and B-mode ultrasound.


The role of low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol as a causal factor in atherogenesis has recently been questioned. LCAT plays a key role in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism.


Carotid 3.0-T MRI and B-mode ultrasound measurements were performed in 40 carriers of LCAT gene mutations and 40 controls, matched for age. Patients with cardiovascular disease were excluded.


Carriers had 31% lower LCAT activity levels and 38% decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (both p < 0.001 vs. controls). Carriers presented with a 10% higher normalized wall index (0.34 ± 0.07 vs. 0.31 ± 0.04, p = 0.002), a 22% higher mean wall area (17.3 ± 8.5 mm(2) vs. 14.2 ± 4.1 mm(2), p = 0.01), and a 22% higher total wall volume (1,039 ± 508 mm(3) vs. 851 ± 247 mm(3), p = 0.01 vs. controls) as measured by MRI. The prevalence (20 vs. 5, p = 0.002) and the total volume (102 mm(3) vs. 3 mm(3)) of atherosclerotic plaque components on MRI relating to lipid-rich tissue or calcification were also higher in carriers than in controls. All differences retained significance after adjustment for age, sex, blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, smoking, and family history of cardiovascular disease. Common carotid intima-media thickness measured with ultrasound was increased in carriers by 12.5% (0.72 ± 0.33 mm vs. 0.64 ± 0.15 mm, p = 0.14).


Carriers of LCAT gene mutations exhibit increased carotid atherosclerosis, indicating an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The present findings imply that increasing LCAT activity may be an attractive target in cardiovascular prevention strategies.

Copyright © 2011 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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