3 years ago

Prevention of cardiovascular complications in patients with Lp(a)-hyperlipoproteinemia and progressive cardiovascular disease by long-term lipoprotein apheresis according to German national guidelines

Reinhard Klingel, Andreas Heibges, Cordula Fassbender


Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) is an independent cardiovascular risk factor playing a causal role for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD). Lipoprotein apheresis (LA) is a safe well-tolerated outpatient treatment to lower LDL-C and Lp(a) by 60–70%, and is the ultimate escalating therapeutic option in patients with hyperlipoproteinemias (HLP) involving LDL particles. Major therapeutic effect of LA is preventing cardiovascular events. Lp(a)-HLP associated with progressive CVD has been approved as indication for regular LA in Germany since 2008. The Pro(a)LiFe-study investigated with a prospective multicenter design the long-term preventive effect of LA on incidence rates of cardiovascular events prospectively over a period of 5 years in 170 consecutive patients who commenced regular LA. During a median period of 4.7 years of the pre-LA period, Lp(a) associated progressive CVD became apparent. Apolipoprotein(a) (apo(a)) isoforms and polymorphisms at the apo(a) gene (LPA) were analyzed to assess hypothetical clinical correlations. 154 patients (90.6%) completed 5‑years follow-up. Significant decline of the mean annual major adverse cardiac event (MACE) rate was observed from 0.41 ± 0.45 two years prior to regular LA to 0.06 ± 0.11 during 5 years with regular LA (p < 0.0001). 95.3% of patients expressed at least one small apo(a) isoform. Calculation of isoform specific concentrations allowed to confirm the equivalence of 60 mg/dl or 120 nmol/l as Lp(a) thresholds of the German LA guideline. Results of 5 years prospective follow-up confirmed that LA has a lasting effect on prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with Lp(a)-HLP and afore progressive CVD.

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