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Circ J. 2002 Mar;66(3):267-71.

Association between plasma lipoprotein(a) and endothelial dysfunction in normocholesterolemic and non-diabetic patients with angiographically normal coronary arteries.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, Kitakyushu, Japan.


The present study was designed to examine whether elevated levels of lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) are related to the impairment of the endothelium-dependent vasoresponse to acetylcholine (ACh) in normocholesterolemic and non-diabetic human normal coronary arteries. ACh (30 microg) was injected into the left main coronary artery of 31 patients (serum low-density cholesterol <160mg/dl and fasting plasma glucose <126mg/dl) with angiographically normal coronary arteries, and the relation between diameter change and lipid levels was analyzed. The mean diameter change of all coronary segments examined (segments 6, 8, 11 and 13) was reduced by 14.6+/-26.5% in response to ACh, but increased by 23.3+/-6.0% in response to nitroglycerin, suggesting endothelial dysfunction in those arteries. The mean diameter change of the left anterior descending artery or left circumflex artery in each patient was negatively correlated only with the level of Lp(a). Stepwise multiple regression analysis also revealed that only Lp(a) among the lipids showed significant correlation with impaired vasodilation (p=0.033). These findings suggest that elevated levels of plasma Lp(a) might be a strong predictor of endothelial dysfunction in normocholesterolemic and non-diabetic subjects.

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