Purpose: This systematic review was performed to summarize published experience using low density lipoprotein particle number (LDL-P) to monitor the efficacy of lipid-lowering pharmacotherapies.
Methods: Studies were identified from a literature search of MEDLINE (January 1, 2000 - June 30, 2012); and abstract searches of select conferences. All accepted studies reported mean (or median) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based LDL-P values for at least 10 subjects receiving lipid lowering pharmacotherapy.
Results: Searches revealed 36 studies (with 61 treatment arms) in which LDL-P measurements were reported pre- and post-treatment. Most studies also reported changes in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), but fewer studies reported changes in apolipoprotein B (apoB)(n = 20) and non-HDL-C (n = 28). Treatments included statins (22 arms/15 studies), fibrates (7 arms/7 studies), niacin (7 arms/6 studies), bile acid sequestrants (5 arms/2 studies), an anti-apoB oligonucleotide (2 arms/2 studies), combination therapies (8 arms/6 studies), anti-diabetics (5 arms/4 studies), and, other treatments (5 arms/2 studies). Lipid-lowering pharmacotherapy resulted in reductions in mean LDL-P in all but two studies. In several statin studies, the percent reductions in LDL-P were smaller than reductions in LDL-C, comparable changes were reported when LDL-P and apoB, were reported.
Conclusions: Study-level data from this systemic review establish that different lipid lowering agents can lead to discordance between LDL-P and LDL-C, therefore, basing LDL-lowering therapy only on the achievement of cholesterol goals may result in a treatment gap. Therefore, the use of LDL-P for monitoring lipid-lowering therapy, particularly for statins, can provide a more accurate assessment of residual cardiovascular risk.