Vol 25, No 1 (2018)
Original articles — Clinical cardiology
Published online: 2017-11-17

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Lipid-lowering therapy with PCSK9-inhibitors in the management of cardiovascular high-risk patients: Effectiveness, therapy adherence and safety in a real world cohort

Michael Saborowski1, Michael Dölle1, Michael P. Manns1, Holger Leitolf1, Steffen Zender1
Pubmed: 29168543
Cardiol J 2018;25(1):32-41.


Background: Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9)-inhibitors have shown great po­tential in efficient lipid lowering to achieve low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) treatment goals. The aim of the study was too describe the clinical use of PCSK9-inhibitors and to investigate therapy adherence and safety outside of clinical trials.

Methods: Thirty-eight patients were treated with PSCK9-inhibitors. Patients were eligible for this therapy based on their individual cardiovascular risk and when all other available lipid-lowering regi­men had failed. Every patient answered a questionnaire concerning medical history and relevant side effects and therapy adherence.

Results: Conventional therapy reduced patient LDL-C levels by about 38%. However, in 26 of the 38 patients, LDL-C treatment goals were not fulfilled because patients did not tolerate further dose es­calation due to side effects. Using a PCSK9 inhibitor, LDL-C levels were reduced by another 54% and 42% of patients reaching treatment goals. The results show that most patients still require concomitant therapy to reach LDL-C target levels. Three patients required dose reduction or change of the PCSK9 inhibitor. 16% did not inject the PCSK9 inhibitor regularly.

Conclusions: Only a minority of patients reached the recommended LDL-C goals. PCSK9-inhibitors were generally well tolerated. Despite low rates of reported side effects, therapy adherence was incom­plete, with 6 patients not injecting PCSK9-inhibitors on a regular basis. In-depth information about the medication and close supervision is advisable. PCSK9 inhibitors have shown great potential in aggressive lipid lowering therapy, but basic therapy is still required in most cases. Close supervision is recommended to improve therapy adherence. (Cardiol J 2018; 25, 1: 32–41)

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