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Am J Cardiol. 2013 Feb 15;111(4):506-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.10.037. Epub 2012 Dec 10.

Alteration of relation of atherogenic lipoprotein cholesterol to apolipoprotein B by intensive statin therapy in patients with acute coronary syndrome (from the Limiting UNdertreatment of lipids in ACS With Rosuvastatin [LUNAR] Trial).

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  • 1Baylor College of Medicine and Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, Houston, Texas, USA.


The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol goal of <70 mg/dl, recommended for patients with acute coronary syndrome, typically requires intensive therapy with high-dose statins. The secondary goals of non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol <100 mg/dl and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) <80 mg/dl have been recommended to reduce excess cardiovascular risk not captured by LDL cholesterol. The present post hoc analysis from the Limiting UNdertreatment of lipids in Acute coronary syndrome with Rosuvastatin (LUNAR) study examined the relation of ApoB with LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol at baseline and during treatment with intensive statin therapy. The LUNAR participants had acute coronary syndrome and received rosuvastatin 40 mg/day or 20 mg/day or atorvastatin 80 mg/day for 12 weeks. Linear regression analyses were used to compare ApoB, direct LDL cholesterol, and non-HDL cholesterol at baseline and during therapy. Of the 682 patients included in the analysis, 220 had triglycerides ≥200 mg/dl. Linear regression analysis showed that correlation of ApoB and non-HDL cholesterol was stronger than that of ApoB and LDL cholesterol and stronger with statin therapy than at baseline (R(2) = 0.93 for ApoB vs non-HDL cholesterol with statins). The target of ApoB of 80 mg/dl correlated with LDL cholesterol of 90 mg/dl and non-HDL cholesterol of 110 mg/dl at baseline and with LDL cholesterol of 74 mg/dl and non-HDL cholesterol of 92 mg/dl with statin therapy. For high-triglyceride patients, the corresponding on-treatment targets were LDL cholesterol of 68 mg/dl and non-HDL cholesterol of 92 mg/dl. In conclusion, non-HDL cholesterol is an adequate surrogate of ApoB during statin therapy, independent of triglyceride status. However, to match LDL cholesterol and ApoB treatment goals in the very-high-risk category, the current non-HDL cholesterol goal should be lowered by 8 to 10 mg/dl.

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