Aims: We evaluated the relationship between the ratios of eicosapentaenoic acid and arachidonic acid (EPA/AA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/AA, and delta-5 desaturase activity (D5D) and atherogenic lipid profiles (ALP) and coronary atherosclerosis.
Methods: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and ALP were assessed in 436 men with the first episode of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) not take any lipid-lowering drugs. D5D was estimated as the ratio of AA to dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA). These biomarkers were compared between the lower and higher levels of EPA/AA (0.41) or DHA/AA (0.93) according to the levels in Japanese general population. The thrombolysis in myocardial infarction flow (TIMI) grade of the culprit coronary artery was visually estimated during the initial angiography.
Results: Approximately 70% of patients had low EPA/AA or DHA/AA. Serum levels of LDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein B (apoB), and remnant lipoprotein cholesterol (RL-C) were significantly higher in the low EPA/AA or DHA/AA groups, while those of triglycerides and malondialdehyde-modified LDL (MDA-LDL) were significantly higher in the low EPA/AA group alone. The levels of EPA, EPA/AA, DHA/AA, and HbA1c increased and those of DGLA and apoA1 decreased with increasing number of stenotic vessels. Patients with three stenotic coronary vessels or TIMI grade ≥ 1 had significantly higher EPA levels compared with the others. The levels of LDL-cholesterol, non-HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, small dense LDL-cholesterol, RL-C, MDA-LDL, apoB, and apoE decreased progressively and those of EPA, DHA, EPA/AA and HDL-cholesterol increased as D5D increased.
Conclusions: The EPA/AA is a superior risk marker than DHA/AA in term of correlation with ALP in ACS patients.
Keywords: Acute coronary syndrome; Arachidonic acid; Delta-5; Docosahexaenoic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid.