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Atherosclerosis. 2002 May;162(1):163-70.

Effects of atorvastatin on postprandial plasma lipoproteins in postinfarction patients with combined hyperlipidaemia.

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  • 1Atherosclerosis Research Unit, King Gustaf V Research Institute, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska Hospital, S-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.


Enhanced and prolonged postprandial lipaemia is implicated in coronary and carotid artery disease. This study assessed the effects of atorvastatin, a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitor, on postprandial plasma concentrations of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs). Sixteen middle-aged men with combined hyperlipidaemia (baseline low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and plasma triglyceride concentrations (median (interquartile range) of 4.54 (4.17-5.26)) and 2.66 (2.04-3.20) mmol/l, respectively) and previous myocardial infarction were randomised to atorvastatin 40 mg or placebo once daily for 8 weeks in a double-blind, cross-over design. The apolipoprotein (apo) B-48 and B-100 contents were determined in subfractions of TRLs as a measure of chylomicron remnant and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle concentrations (expressed as mg apo B-48 or apo B-100 per litre of plasma), in the fasting state and after intake of a mixed meal. Atorvastatin treatment reduced significantly the fasting plasma concentrations of VLDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and VLDL triglycerides (median% change) by 29, 44 and 27%, respectively, and increased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol by 19%, compared with baseline. The postprandial plasma concentrations of large (Svedberg flotation rate (Sf) 60-400) and small (Sf 20-60) VLDLs and chylomicron remnants were almost halved compared with baseline (mean 0-6 h plasma concentrations were reduced by 48% for Sf 60-400 apo B-100, by 46% for Sf 60-400 apo B-48, by 46% for Sf 20-60 apo B-100 and by 27% for Sf 20-60 apo B-48), and the postprandial triglyceridaemia was reduced by 23% during active treatment. In conclusion, atorvastatin 40 mg once daily causes profound reductions of postprandial plasma concentrations of all TRLs in combined hyperlipidaemic patients with premature coronary artery disease.

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