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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1997 Nov 15;30(6):1491-9.

Modulation of lipoprotein(a) atherogenicity by high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in middle-aged men with symptomatic coronary artery disease and normal to moderately elevated serum cholesterol. Regression Growth Evaluation Statin Study (REGRESS) Study Group.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



This study sought to examine whether lipoprotein(a) levels predict coronary artery lumen changes in patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD) and normal to moderate hypercholesterolemia.


Recent conflicting reports have confirmed or refuted the association of lipoprotein(a) with clinical events or angiographically verified disease progression.


The association between serum lipoprotein(a) and changes in coronary artery lumen was studied in 704 men entered into the Regression Growth Evaluation Statin Study (REGRESS), a double-blind, placebo-controlled, quantitative angiographic study that assessed the effect of 2 years of pravastatin treatment. The primary end points were changes in average mean segment diameter (MSD) and average minimal obstruction diameter (MOD). Pravastatin- and placebo-treated patients were classified as having progressing, regressing or stable CAD, and median lipoprotein(a) concentrations were compared. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed in the overall patient group and in high risk subgroups.


Pravastatin treatment did not affect serum apolipoprotein(a) levels. Median in-trial (sampled at 24 months) apolipoprotein(a) levels for regressing, stable and progressing CAD were, respectively, 130, 162 and 251 U/liter in placebo-treated patients and 143, 224 and 306 U/liter in pravastatin-treated patients. Predictors of MSD and MOD changes were baseline MSD and MOD, in-trial apolipoprotein(a), in-trial high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and baseline use of long-acting nitrates. The multivariate models predicted 14% of MSD changes and 12% of MOD changes; apolipoprotein(a) predicted only 2.6% and 4.8%, respectively. However, in patients with in-trial HDL cholesterol levels <0.7 mmol/liter, apolipoprotein(a) predicted up to 37% of the arteriographic changes.


Serum lipoprotein(a) levels predict coronary artery lumen changes in normal to moderately hypercholesterolemic white men with CAD; its atherogenicity is marked in the presence of concomitant hypoalphalipoproteinemia.

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