Effects of increasing doses of atorvastatin on the atherogenic lipid subclasses commonly associated with hypertriglyceridemia.Am J Cardiol. 2007 Aug 01; 100(3):445-9.AJ
The increased cardiovascular risk associated with hypertriglyceridemia is thought to be due in part to high levels of triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins and small dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL). In this post hoc analysis, effects of increasing doses of atorvastatin (10, 20, 40, and 80 mg) on atherogenic lipid subclasses commonly associated with hypertriglyceridemia were evaluated in 191 men and women who were candidates for lipid-lowering therapy and had baseline TG levels >200 mg/dl (2.3 mmol/L). After 8 weeks of treatment, in addition to significantly decreasing LDL cholesterol and TG levels, atorvastatin significantly increased LDL peak particle diameter (p <0.01) and significantly decreased the concentration of small LDL subclasses IIIa and IIIb (p <0.0001) from baseline at all doses. These effects were more pronounced with higher compared with lower doses of atorvastatin. Each dose of atorvastatin also significantly lowered levels of very LDL, intermediate-density lipoprotein (p <0.0001), and small very LDL subclass 3 (p <0.0001). Greater decreases were achieved by those patients receiving higher doses of atorvastatin (20, 40, and 80 mg). The increase in LDL size correlated with the decrease in TG levels, but not with the decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. However, the decrease in small dense LDL cholesterol concentrations correlated significantly with TG and LDL cholesterol decreases. In conclusion, atorvastatin significantly lowered levels of TG-rich remnant lipoproteins and favorably changed LDL particle size in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. These effects may explain the benefits of statin therapy in high-risk patients with hypertriglyceridemia even when levels of LDL cholesterol are at goal.