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Epilepsy Res. 2000 Aug;41(1):1-7.

The effects on lipid and apolipoprotein serum levels of long-term carbamazepine, valproic acid and phenobarbital therapy in children with epilepsy.

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Departamento de Pediatría, Servicio de Neuropediatría, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago de Compostela, Hospital General de Galicia, Spain.


The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of long-term carbamazepine (CBZ), valproic acid (VPA) and phenobarbital (PB) treatment on serum lipids and apolipoproteins in epileptic children. Serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) and triglycerides (TGs) were measured and the LDL-C/HDL-C and TC/HDL-C ratios were calculated in 320 children and adolescents (129 receiving CBZ, 127 receiving VPA and 64 receiving PB) suffering from various types of epilepsy. Additionally, in a subgroup of 181 children (68 CBZ; 78 VPA; 35 PB) apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), apolipoprotein B (apoB), HDL2-C and HDL3-C were measured and apoA-I/apoB and HDL2-C/HDL3-C ratios were calculated. Results of the measurements were compared with those of 169 age-and sex-matched healthy controls. None of the variables considered was significantly correlated with time elapsed since start of treatment or with drug concentration in serum. TC and LDL-C serum levels were high in children receiving CBZ or PB and low in those treated with VPA. Serum LDL-C level exceeded 130 mg/dl in 27.9% of CBZ-group, 31.8% of the subjects receiving PB, but only in 7% of those receiving VPA and in 11.8% of control group subjects. CBZ-treated children also showed high HDL-C and HDL3-C values. In the group receiving VPA, HDL2-C, HDL2-C/HDL3-C ratio and apo B were significantly lower than in the control group. Mean apoA-I levels were low in all treated groups: by contrast, in neither group did TGs, VLDL-C levels and TC/HDL-C or LDL-C/HDL-C ratios differ significantly from the corresponding control group. Our results suggest that the effects of long-term AED therapy on lipid profile and, particularly, on apolipoprotein serum levels increase risk of atherosclerosis-related disease. Moreover, these results confirm our previously reported increased risk in CBZ and PB-treated patients.

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