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J Lipid Res. 1986 Jul;27(7):713-23.

Biliary lipid secretion in patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and combined hyperlipidemia. Influence of bezafibrate and fenofibrate.


Serum and biliary lipid metabolism were examined in 13 patients with different types of hyperlipoproteinemia before and after 4 weeks of treatment with either bezafibrate or fenofibrate. In patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), bezafibrate (n = 5) and fenofibrate (n = 7) produced a similar significant reduction of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides by 21, 23, and 32%, respectively. In patients with familial combined hyperlipidemia (CHL), only triglycerides decreased markedly. Biliary lipid secretion rates in patients with heterozygous FH were not different from those of young male volunteers, indicating that a reduction of hepatic LDL receptors did not affect hepatic elimination of cholesterol or bile acids. Biliary cholesterol secretion increased significantly from 57 to 75 mg/hr during bezafibrate therapy (n = 8) and from 62 to 71 mg/hr during fenofibrate therapy (n = 9). No consistent change in bile acid or phospholipid secretion was observed. The elevated output of biliary cholesterol increased cholesterol saturation significantly from 147 to 185% and from 152 to 173% during administration of bezafibrate and fenofibrate, respectively. The present study indicates that treatment with bezafibrate or fenofibrate is effective in lowering LDL cholesterol in patients with heterozygous FH, but both drugs increase cholesterol saturation of bile, which might enhance the risk of cholesterol gallstone formation.

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