Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of long-term lipoprotein apheresis in patients with LDL- or Lp(a) hyperlipoproteinemia: Findings gathered from more than 36,000 treatments at one center in Germany

Franz Heigl, Reinhard Hettich, Norbert Lotz, Harduin Reeg, Tobias Pflederer, Dirk Osterkorn, Klaus Osterkorn, Reinhard Klingel
Atherosclerosis. Supplements 2015, 18: 154-62
LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) and lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) are main risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of lipoprotein apheresis (LA) were investigated in 36,745 LA treatments of 118 patients with CVD in a retrospective, monocentric study. Indications were severe hypercholesterolemia (n = 83) or isolated Lp(a) hyperlipoproteinemia (n = 35). Average age of patients at start of LA treatment was 58.1 years for males and 62.5 years for females. Medium interval between the first cardiovascular event and LA treatment was 6.4 ± 5.6 years and the average LA treatment period was 6.8 ± 4.9 years. On average treatments were performed once a week, via peripheral venous access in 79.3% of non-hemodialysis patients. In patients with hypercholesterolemia initial pre-LA LDL-C was lowered from 176.4 ± 67.0 mg/dL by 66.7 ± 10.8% per session, achieving a long-term interval mean value of 119.8 ± 34.7 mg/dL, i.e. reduction by 32.1 ± 19.6% (p < 0.0001). In patients with isolated elevated Lp(a) initial pre-LA Lp(a) was lowered from 127.2 ± 67.3 mg/dL by 66.8 ± 5.8% per session, achieving a long-term interval mean value of 60.0 ± 19.5 mg/dL, i.e. reduction by 52.8 ± 23.0% (p < 0.0001). After start of LA the average annual rate of major adverse coronary events (MACE) of all patients declined by 79.7% (p < 0.0001). Subgroup analysis showed decline by 73.7% (p < 0.0001) in patients with severe hypercholesterolemia, and by 90.4% (p < 0.0001) in patients with isolated elevated Lp(a). Adverse events (AE) occurred in 1.1% of treatments. LA treatment of patients with high risk for CVD due to LDL and/or Lp(a) hyperlipoproteinemia was effective, safe, and well tolerated. The number of cardiovascular events, at least during a six-year period, declined by 80%.

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