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Ann Intern Med. 1977 Feb;86(2):139-46.

Regression and progression of early femoral atherosclerosis in treated hyperlipoproteinemic patients.


Femoral angiograms were done to evaluate change in early atherosclerosis in 12 patients with type IV hyperlipoproteinemia and 13 with type II hyperlipoproteinemia. The patients' average age was 48 years; only one had claudication. Elevated blood lipids and blood pressure were treated with drugs and diet. Repeat angiograms after an interval of 13 months showed regression of atherosclerosis in nine patients, no change in three, and progression in 13. Comparison of preangiogram levels with average levels between angiograms showed significant reduction in serum cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood pressure in the group with lesion improvement but not in the group with lesion progression. Sporadic examples of human atherosclerosis regression are known, but most other studies in man indicate only atherosclerosis progression. Our different result appears due to our selection of patients and radiographic method. We have studied patients with earlier atherosclerosis than previous workers, using a radiographic procedure more sensitive to small changes in lesions.

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