Type III hyperlipoproteinemia
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Nineteen adult patients with type III hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP) and homozygosity for apolipoprotein (apo) E2 were treated with the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitor simvastatin (20 or 40 mg per day) alone or in combination with the fibrate derivative gemfibrozil (450 mg per day) during a 30-week outpatient study. With the 20-mg dose (n = 19) the mean plasma cholesterol level decreased from 13.24±8.04 8.04 at baseline to 8.04±4.19 mmol/l (mean reduction 39.3%; P〈0.05), and the mean plasma triglyceride level decreased from 13.47±19.22 to 7.84±7.71 mmol/l (−41.8%; NS); this was due to a decrease in very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol from 8.95±8.64 to 4.94±4.24mmo1/l (−44.8%; NS), a decrease in low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from 3.54±0.93to 2.25 ± 0.59 mmol/l (−36.5%; P〈0.01), and an increase in high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol from 0.72±0.28 to 0.85±0.34 (+18.1%; NS). Thirteen patients were treated with 40 mg simvastatin per day. Under this regimen there was a further significant decrease in LDL cholesterol from 2.33±0.62 to 1.81±0.49 mmol/l (−22.3%; P〈0.01). In six patients who remained hyperlipidemic on monotherapy combination drug therapy with simvastatin (40 mg per day) and gemfibrozil (450 mg per day) was given. Compared to simvastatin alone the addition of gemfibrozil further lowered plasma concentrations of total cholesterol by 14.9%, VLDL cholesterol by 23.5%, and triglycerides by 17.1%, although this was not statistically significant. No patient was discontinued from single or combination drug therapy, and no severe clinical or biochemical side effects were observed. The results of this study demonstrate the usefulness of simvastatin in the therapy of type III HLP and indicate that in individual patients who remain hyperlipidemic on monotherapy combination drug therapy with both of these drugs is effective in further reducing plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Although no patient in this investigation developed myopathy or rhabdomyolysis, combined fibrate-HMG CoA reductase inhibitor treatment should be considered only for severe forms of hyperlipidemia and for patients who do not respond sufficiently to mon-therapy of any of these drugs.
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