Small, dense LDL: an update

Curr Opin Cardiol. 2017 Jul;32(4):454-459. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000410.


Purpose of review: In this review, we summarize the latest findings on small, dense LDL (sdLDL) atherogenic particles, including their associations with other biomarkers.

Recent findings: Increased sdLDL levels have been reported not only in different metabolic disorders such as diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, but also in patients with rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis as well as hypothyroidism. A wide range of lipid-lowering, as well as other drug classes, including novel antidiabetic agents and nutraceuticals, exert favourable effects on these atherogenic particles. The 'gold standard' methodology for the assessment of sdLDL has not been established yet. However, the association between sdLDL and several biomarkers could facilitate their assessment.

Summary: Estimation of sdLDL in daily clinical practice may help with the identification of patients at high cardiovascular risk and further contribute in directing specific interventions to prevent and/or decrease such risk.

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / etiology*
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Particle Size
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, LDL