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LDL aggregation – A novel biomarker That predicts mortality risk in Heart Disease

LDL aggregation – A novel biomarker That predicts mortality risk in Heart Disease
LDL particles cause atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) through their retention, modification, and accumulation within the arterial intima. High plasma concentrations of  low-density lipoprotein drive this disease, but LDL quality may also contribute.
The low-density lipoprotein aggregates have a tendency to accumulate in the arterial wall, where they induce the formation of cholesterol-rich plaques. Low-density lipoprotein aggregates can also induce local inflammation in the plaques. An inflamed plaque can then rupture and cause myocardial infarction.
For the study, the researchers developed a novel, reproducible method to assess the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein particles to aggregate during lipolysis induced ex vivo by human recombinant secretory sphingomyelinase.

The scientists found that low-density lipoprotein isolated from patients with the known cardiovascular disease was more aggregation-prone than low-density lipoprotein isolated from healthy individuals. The most aggregation-prone LDL was found in those patients who later died from cardiovascular disease.

“This is the first study to show that there are measurable inter-individual differences in the aggregation susceptibility of LDL particles, and that aggregation-prone low-density lipoprotein is predictive of cardiovascular death”, summarizes Dr. Öörni.

There is also good news: the study showed that the quality of low-density lipoprotein particles can be improved by cholesterol-lowering medication or by a healthy diet. “Increase in consumption of vegetable oils and a decrease in consumption of sugar decreased LDL aggregation”, describes Maija Ruuth, the first author of the research article.

In the future, the new measurement of low-density lipoprotein aggregation may help to improve cardiovascular risk. “This new biomarker may also facilitate identification of patients with currently unrecognized risk for cardiovascular events”, suggests Professor Petri Kovanen, a member of the research team.

“Our results identify the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to aggregate as a novel measurable and modifiable factor in the progression of human ASCVD,” concluded the authors.

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Source: With inputs from European Heart Journal

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