According to the concept of apolipoprotein (apo)-defined lipoproteins, apoA-I-containing lipoproteins consist of two subclasses referred to as lipoprotein A-I (LpA-I) and lipoprotein A-I:A-II (LpA-I:A-II), and apoB-containing lipoproteins of five subclasses, namely lipoprotein B (LpB), lipoprotein B:C (LpB:C), lipoprotein B:E (LpB:E), lipoprotein B:C:E (LpB:C:E), and lipoprotein A-II:B:C:D:E (LpA-II:B:C:D:E). The purpose of this study was to determine the levels of apoA-I- and apoB-containing lipoprotein subclasses before and after fluvastatin treatment of patients with chronic renal insufficiency. ApoA-I- and apoB-containing lipoprotein subclasses were measured in 15 patients with chronic renal failure and 15 asymptomatic subjects. The effect of fluvastatin on lipoprotein subclasses was determined in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-way, treatment period crossover study. Patients were administered fluvastatin 40 mg/day or placebo during 8 weeks in a randomized order. Patients were characterized by significantly higher levels of LpB (P < 0.001), LpB:C (P < 0.001), and LpB:E (P < 0.05), and slightly higher levels of LpB:C:E and LpA-II:B:C:D:E than controls. The levels of LpA-I:A-II were significantly lower (P < 0.01) in patients than controls. Fluvastatin treatment reduced all apoB-containing subclasses, but only the reduced level of LpB subclass was statistically significant (P < 0.02). The levels of LpA-I and LpA-I:A-II were not affected. Fluvastatin treatment reduced and normalized LpB and LpB:E subclasses. Although slightly reduced, the levels of markedly atherogenic LpB:C subclass were not normalized. The potential role of LpB:C on the progression of coronary artery disease in chronic renal insufficiency remains to be determined in future studies.