Chronic renal failure patients suffer from a secondary form of complex dyslipidemia, similar to the so-called atherogenic dyslipidemia in insulin resistant patients or to diabetic dyslipidemia. The most important abnormalities are an increase in the serum level of triglyceride (elevated VLDL-remnants/IDL), small LDL particles and a low HDL cholesterol. The highly atherogenic LDL subclass, namely LDL-6 or small dense LDL, accumulates in hypertriglyceridemic diabetic hemodialysis patients. All these lipoprotein particles contain apoB, thus much of this complex disorder can be summarized as an elevation of triglyceride-rich apoB containing complex lipoprotein particles. Growing evidence suggests that all of the components of this type of dyslipidemia are independently atherogenic. Further disturbances exist in the dynamics of cholesterol exchange between the various lipoprotein particles and in transport from cells to catabolic sites. The European Joint Task Force and the US National Cholesterol Education Program expert panel have issued guidelines for the general population to lower the cardiovascular risk in hyper- and dyslipidemias. There is preliminary consensus that these guidelines should be applied to dialysis patients. However, the genesis of atherosclerosis in the dialysis population may be different and real benefit from lipid-lowering has not yet been demonstrated in this population. Large-scale, prospective randomized trials (4D-trial, HARP) are underway to determine whether statins reduce cardiovascular complications in diabetic and non-diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and on hemodialysis treatment.
Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University of Würzburg, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org, ,