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Increased Serum Lipoprotein(a) Levels in Patients with Early Renal Failure

Leonardo A. Sechi, MD; Laura Zingaro, MD; Stefano De Carli, MD; Giovanni Sechi, MD; Cristiana Catena, MD; Edmondo Falleti, PhD; Elisabetta Dell'Anna, MD; and Ettore Bartoli, MD
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Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(6):457-461. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-129-6-199809150-00006
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Background: Elevated serum lipoprotein(a) levels have been found in patients with end-stage renal disease and in patients undergoing dialysis, suggesting that this lipoprotein contributes to the increased cardiovascular risk seen in these patients. It is not known whether lipoprotein(a) levels are elevated in the early phases of renal disease.

Objective: To evaluate levels of lipoprotein(a) and other lipids and the prevalence of atherosclerotic disease in patients with early renal failure.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Hypertension clinic of a university medical center.

Patients: 257 patients with normal renal function and 160 patients with early impairment of renal function (creatinine clearance, 30 to 89 mL/min per 1.73 m2 of body surface area).

Measurements: Renal function was assessed by 24-hour creatinine clearance, proteinuria, and microalbuminuria. Cardiovascular disease status was also assessed. Serum lipoprotein(a), lipids, apolipoproteins, and apolipoprotein(a) isoforms were measured.

Results: Age, blood pressure, and serum lipoprotein(a) levels were greater in patients with early renal failure than in those with normal renal function and were independently associated with the presence of decreased creatinine clearance. Serum lipoprotein(a) and creatinine clearance were inversely correlated. The prevalence of coronary artery, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular disease was greater in patients with early renal failure than in those with normal renal function. The frequency distribution of apolipoprotein(a) isoforms was similar in patients with normal and those with impaired renal function.

Conclusions: Serum lipoprotein(a) levels are elevated in patients with early impairment of renal function and are associated with greater prevalence of cardiovascular disease. An inverse correlation between serum lipoprotein(a) level and creatinine clearance and a frequency distribution of apolipoprotein(a) isoforms similar to that of normal patients point to decreased renal catabolism as a probable mechanism of lipoprotein(a) elevation in patients with early renal failure.


Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1.
Relation between creatinine clearance and log lipoprotein(a).rP

A significant inverse correlation ( = 0.243; < 0.001) was seen.

Grahic Jump Location




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