Significance of small dense low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations in relation to the severity of coronary heart diseases.

Atherosclerosis. 2006 Jan 12; [Epub ahead of print]  

Koba S, Hirano T, Ito Y, Tsunoda F, Yokota Y, Ban Y, Iso Y, Suzuki H, Katagiri T.
The Third Department of Internal Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo. 

We have investigated the clinical significance of small dense low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (sd-LDL-C) concentrations in coronary heart disease (CHD). We measured the LDL size by gradient gel electrophoresis and quantified sd-LDL-C concentrations by a newly developed rapid assay using heparin-magnesium precipitation in 225 consecutive CHD patients without any lipid-lowering medication and 142 healthy middle-aged subjects as controls. The LDL size was markedly smaller and sd-LDL-C levels were significantly higher in CHD patients than in controls of both sexes, whereas LDL-C levels were comparable between CHD and controls. The LDL-C levels were significantly higher in a subpopulation of 84 patients with acute coronary syndrome than in other patients groups, while LDL size and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) were not found to vary among the patients. The sd-LDL-C increased as the number of diseased vessels or Gensini atherosclerosis score increased. Among the 123 stable CHD patients, multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that sd-LDL-C levels were significantly associated with the clinically severe cases requiring coronary revascularization independently of LDL-C, HDL-C and apolipoprotein B. The sd-LDL mass plays a more important role in the progression of CHD than the LDL size, and the sd-LDL-C concentration serves as a powerful surrogate marker for the prevention of CHD.