Vol 26, No 6 (2019)
Original articles — Clinical cardiology
Published online: 2018-09-07

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Long-term lipoprotein apheresis in the treatment of severe familial hypercholesterolemia refractory to high intensity statin therapy: Three year experience at a lipoprotein apheresis centre

Agnieszka Mickiewicz1, Justyna Borowiec-Wolna1, Witold Bachorski1, Natasza Gilis-Malinowska1, Rafał Gałąska1, Grzegorz Raczak2, Magdalena Chmara34, Bartosz Wasąg3, Miłosz J. Jaguszewski1, Marcin Fijałkowski1, Marcin Gruchała1
Pubmed: 30234904
Cardiol J 2019;26(6):669-679.


Background: Severe familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) individuals, refractory to conventional lipidlowering
medications are at exceptionally high risk of cardiovascular events. The established therapeutic
option of last choice is lipoprotein apheresis (LA). Herein, it was sought to investigate the clinical usefulness
of LA in a highly selected group of severe heterozygous FH (HeFH), as recently described by the
International Atherosclerosis Society (IAS), for their efficacy in lipid reduction and safety.
Methods: Efficacy and safety of LA were investigated in 318 sessions of 7 severe HeFH females with
cardiovascular disease, over a mean period of 26.9 ± 6.5 months. Relative reduction of low density lipoprotein
cholesterol (LDL-C) ≥ 60%, clinical complications and vascular access problems were evaluated
and compared between the direct adsorption of lipoproteins (DALI) and lipoprotein filtration (Membrane
Filtration Optimized Novel Extracorporeal Treatment [MONET]). Additionally, lipoprotein (a)
[Lp(a)], total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG) and
fibrinogen concentrations were investigated.
Results: The relative reduction of LDL-C, TC, TG and Lp(a) were 69.4 ± 12.9%, 59.7 ± 9.1, 51.5 ±
± 14.2% and 71.3 ± 14.4%, respectively. A similar efficacy was found in both systems in LDL-C removal.
DALI system led to larger depletions of Lp(a) (80.0 [76–83]% vs. 73.0 [64.7–78.8]%; p < 0.001).
The frequency of clinical side effects and vascular access problems were low (8.5%).
Conclusions: Long-term LA in severe HeFH individuals is safe and efficiently reduces LDL-C and
Lp(a). Higher efficacy of the DALI system than MONET in Lp(a) removal may indicate the need for individualized
application of the LA system in severe HeFH individuals.

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