Lipoprotein apheresis for Lp(a)-hyperlipoproteinemia with progressive cardiovascular disease—Additional particular aspects of the Pro(a)LiFe multicenter trial

Reinhard Klingel, Andreas Heibges, Cordula Fassbender
Atherosclerosis. Supplements 2015, 18: 35-40
Lipoprotein apheresis (LA) can lower LDL-cholesterol and Lp(a) by 60%-70% and is the final escalating option in patients with hyperlipoproteinemias involving LDL or Lp(a) particles. Major therapeutic effect of LA is preventing cardiovascular events. In Germany since 2008 a reimbursement guideline has been implemented accepting to establish the indication for LA not only for familial or severe forms of hypercholesterolemia but also based on Lp(a)-hyperlipoproteinemia associated with a progressive course of cardiovascular disease, that persists despite effective treatment of other concomitant cardiovascular risk factors. The Pro(a)LiFe-study confirmed with a prospective multicenter design that LA can be regarded as an important therapeutic approach to effectively reduce Lp(a) plasma levels and prevent cardiovascular events in this particular high-risk patient group. Results support that Lp(a) may be a major causal factor for precipitating mechanisms of accelerated progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Indication for LA based on measurement of Lp(a) as part of risk assessment is supported by the following conditions: progressive CVD as assessed clinically and with imaging techniques, established maximally tolerated lipid lowering drug treatment, recent cardiovascular events despite efficient drug treatment, out of the ordinary frequency of cardiovascular events, early CVD, or positive family history of early CVD. Still existing difficulties with Lp(a) laboratory measurement require a practical approach to establish the indication for LA considering the 60 mg/dl threshold of German guidelines with selecting an Lp(a) assay which has been calibrated for mass.

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