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Journal of Lipids
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 864317, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/864317
Research Article

Usefulness of Lipid Apheresis in the Treatment of Familial Hypercholesterolemia

1Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, 920 E 28th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407, USA
2Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, 920 E 28th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407, USA
3Kidney Specialists of Minnesota at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, 920 E 28th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407, USA

Received 9 June 2014; Revised 6 August 2014; Accepted 7 October 2014; Published 19 October 2014

Academic Editor: Shinichi Oikawa

Copyright © 2014 Matthew Lui et al. 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.

Abstract

Lipid apheresis is used to treat patients with severe hyperlipidemia by reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). This study examines the effect of apheresis on the lipid panel and cardiac event rates before and after apheresis. An electronic health record screen of ambulatory patients identified 11 active patients undergoing lipid apheresis with 10/11 carrying a diagnosis of FH. Baseline demographics, pre- and postapheresis lipid levels, highest recorded LDL-C, cardiac events, current medications, and first apheresis treatment were recorded. Patients completed a questionnaire and self-reported risk factors and interest in alternative treatment. There were significant reductions in mean total cholesterol (−58.4%), LDL-C (−71.9%), triglycerides (−51%), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (−9.3%), and non-HDL (−68.2%) values. Thirty-four cardiac events were documented in 8 patients before apheresis, compared with 9 events in 5 patients after apheresis. Our survey showed a high prevalence of statin intolerance (64%), with the majority (90%) of participants indicating an interest in alternative treatment options. Our results have shown that lipid apheresis primary effect is a marked reduction in LDL-C cholesterol levels and may reduce the recurrence of cardiac events. Apheresis should be compared to the newer alternative treatment modalities in a randomized fashion due to patient interest in alternative options.