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Am J Cardiol. 2019 Jun 6. pii: S0002-9149(19)30637-X. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.05.057. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of Icosapent Ethyl (Eicosapentaenoic Acid Ethyl Ester) on Atherogenic Lipid/Lipoprotein, Apolipoprotein, and Inflammatory Parameters in Patients With Elevated High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (from the ANCHOR Study).

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Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Electronic address:
Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine and the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, Houston, Texas.
Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center, Louisville, Kentucky.
Amarin Pharma Inc, Bedminster, New Jersey.


Icosapent ethyl is pure prescription eicosapentaenoic acid approved at 4 g/day as an adjunct to diet to reduce triglycerides (TG) in adults with TG ≥500 mg/dl. Elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. The 12-week ANCHOR study randomized 702 statin-treated patients at increased cardiovascular risk with TG 200 to 499 mg/dl despite low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) control (40 to 99 mg/dl). This post hoc analysis assessed 246 ANCHOR patients with baseline hsCRP ≥ 2.0 mg/L randomized to icosapent ethyl 4 g/day (n = 126; approved dose) or placebo (n = 120). Without increasing LDL-C, icosapent ethyl significantly reduced median TG (-20%; p < 0.0001), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-12.3%; p < 0.0001), total cholesterol (-11.1%; p < 0.0001), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-5.2%; p = 0.0042), very LDL-C (-21.0%; p < 0.0001), very low-density lipoprotein TG (-22.9%; p < 0.0001), remnant lipoprotein cholesterol (-23.0%; p = 0.0125), apolipoprotein B (-7.4%; p = 0.0021), apolipoprotein C-III (-16%; p < 0.0001), oxidized LDL (-13.7%; p = 0.0020), lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (-19.6%; p < 0.0001), and hsCRP (-17.9%; p = 0.0213) versus placebo, while interleukin-6 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 were not significantly changed. Eicosapentaenoic acid increased with icosapent ethyl 4 g/day +637% in plasma and +632% in red blood cells versus placebo (both p < 0.0001). Icosapent ethyl exhibited a safety profile similar to placebo. In conclusion, in statin-treated patients with hsCRP ≥ 2.0 mg/L and TG 200 to 499 mg/dl at baseline, icosapent ethyl 4 g/day significantly and safely reduced TG and other atherogenic and inflammatory parameters without increasing LDL-C versus placebo.

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