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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Jul 17;40(2):220-7.

Intravascular ultrasound evaluation of coronary plaque regression by low density lipoprotein-apheresis in familial hypercholesterolemia: the Low Density Lipoprotein-Apheresis Coronary Morphology and Reserve Trial (LACMART).

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Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medical Bioregulation, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Minamikogoshi, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505, Japan.



We sought to assess the effects of low density lipoprotein (LDL)-apheresis (LDL-A) for regression of coronary plaque in familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), we set up a one-year follow-up multicenter trial using coronary angiography and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).


It is still unclear whether aggressive lipid-lowering therapy by LDL-A leads to the regression of coronary plaque in patients with FH.


Eighteen patients with FH were assigned to one of two groups: medication + LDL-A (LDL-A group, n = 11) and medication only (medication group, n = 7). Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were measured in all subjects at the outset of treatment (baseline) and every three months thereafter. Coronary angiography and IVUS were performed at the outset and after the one-year follow-up period to measure minimal lumen diameter (MLD) by coronary angiogram and plaque area (PA) by IVUS.


The LDL-A group showed 28.4% reduction in total cholesterol (from 275 +/- 27 mg/dl to 197 +/- 19 mg/dl) and 34.3% reduction in LDL cholesterol (from 213 +/- 25 mg/dl to 140 +/- 27 mg/dl) after one-year follow-up, while the medication group showed no changes in cholesterol levels. There were significant interactions between both treatments in total cholesterol (p = 0.0001), LDL cholesterol (p = 0.0001), MLD (p = 0.008) and PA (p = 0.017) using two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance by the SAS system (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina). Significant differences were seen in net change in MLD (p = 0.004) and PA (p = 0.008) during the one-year follow-up period between both groups.


These results suggest that aggressive lipid-lowering therapy using the combination of LDL-A and lipid-lowering drugs may induce regression of coronary atherosclerotic plaque in FH patients.

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