Apolipoprotein(a) Kinetics in Statin-Treated Patients With Elevated Plasma Lipoprotein(a) Concentration

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BACKGROUND: Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a low-density lipoprotein‒like particle containing apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)]. Patients with elevated Lp(a), even when treated with statins, are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. We investigated the kinetic basis for elevated Lp(a) in these patients. OBJECTIVES: Apo(a) production rate (PR) and fractional catabolic rate (FCR) were compared between statin-treated patients with and without elevated Lp(a). METHODS: The kinetics of apo(a) were investigated in 14 patients with elevated Lp(a) and 15 patients with normal Lp(a) levels matched for age, sex, and body mass index using stable isotope techniques and compartmental modeling. All 29 patients were on background statin treatment. Plasma apo(a) concentration was measured using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. RESULTS: The plasma concentration and PR of apo(a) were significantly higher in patients with elevated Lp(a) than in patients with normal Lp(a) concentration (all P < 0.01). The FCR of apo(a) was not significantly different between the groups. In univariate analysis, plasma concentration of apo(a) was significantly associated with apo(a) PR in both patient groups (r = 0.699 and r = 0.949, respectively; all P < 0.01). There was no significant association between plasma apo(a) concentration and FCR in either of the groups (r = 0.160 and r = -0.137, respectively). CONCLUSION: Elevated plasma Lp(a) concentration is a consequence of increased hepatic production of Lp(a) particles in these patients. Our findings provide a kinetic rationale for the use of therapies that target the synthesis of apo(a) and production of Lp(a) particles in patients with elevated Lp(a).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6247-6255
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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