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Disease Markers
Volume 34, Issue 5, Pages 323-331

Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2): A Novel and Promising Biomarker for Cardiovascular Risks Assessment

Anping Cai,1 Dongdan Zheng,2 Ruofeng Qiu,2 Weiyi Mai,2 and Yingling Zhou1

1Department of Cardiology, Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
2Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Received 28 February 2013; Accepted 28 February 2013

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atherosclerosis and its manifestations namely cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are still the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although intensified interventions have been applied, the residual cardiovascular (CV) risks are still very high. Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) is a novel and unique biomarker highly specific for vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis. Both pro-atherogenic property of Lp-PLA2 and positive correlation with CV events have already been demonstrated by a large number of scientific and clinical studies. Currently, in the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) guideline, Lp-PLA2 has been recommended as an adjunct to traditional risk factors in assessing future CV risks. Encouragingly, darapladib, an orally Lp-PLA2 specific inhibitor, has been tested in basic research and preclinical trials and the outcomes are quite striking. Additionally, there are two phase III ongoing clinical trials in evaluating the efficacy and safety of darapladib on cardiovascular outcomes. With regard to the potential values of Lp-PLA2 in risk stratification, therapeutic regimen establishment and prognosis evaluation in patients with moderate or high risk, our present review is going to summarize the relevant data about the bio-chemical characteristics of Lp-PLA2, the actions of Lp-PLA2 on atherosclerosis and the results of Lp-PLA2 in scientific research and clinical studies.