Improved arterial inflammation with high dose omega-3 fatty acids in patients with elevated lipoprotein(a): Selective effect of eicosapentaenoic acid?

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Elevated lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a causal risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. However, there are no approved and effective treatments for lowering Lp(a) and the associated cardiovascular risks. Omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3FAs), primarily eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have both triglyceride-lowering and anti-inflammatory properties. This pilot study investigated the effect of high dose ω-3FAs (3.6 g/day) on arterial inflammation in 12 patients with elevated Lp(a) (> 0.5 g/L) and stable coronary artery disease (CAD) receiving cholesterol-lowering treatment. Arterial inflammation was determined using 18F-fluorodexoyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography before and after 12-weeks intervention. ω-3FAs significantly lowered plasma concentrations of triglycerides (-17%, p < 0.01), Lp(a) (-5%, p < 0.01) as well as aortic maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) (-4%, p < 0.05). The reduction in SUVmax was significantly inversely associated with average on-treatment EPA (r = -0.750, p < 0.01), but not DHA and triglyceride, concentrations. In conclusion, high dose ω-3FAs decrease arterial inflammation in patients with elevated Lp(a) and stable CAD, which may involve a direct arterial effect of EPA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-699
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
Issue number5
Early online date12 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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