Cerebral blood flow velocity and systemic vascular resistance after acute reduction of low-density lipoprotein in familial hypercholesterolemia.
Low-density lipoprotein apheresis is currently used for the treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited disorder of metabolism associated with premature development of cardiovascular disease. We wanted to evaluate cerebral blood flow velocity, cardiac output, and systemic vascular resistance in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia before and after low-density lipoprotein apheresis.
Ten patients (age range, 14 to 46 years; 4 males, 6 females) with familial hypercholesterolemia (8 homozygotes, 2 heterozygotes) and 10 healthy control subjects of comparable age and sex distribution participated in the study. Low-density lipoprotein apheresis by dextran sulfate was performed in 8 patients (7 homozygotes, 1 heterozygote). Six patients (4 homozygotes, 2 heterozygotes) underwent a procedure of extracorporeal erythrocyte filtration with the same extracorporeal volume as for low-density lipoprotein apheresis, but with the exclusion of the passage of plasma through the dextran sulfate column. Cerebral blood flow velocity (transcranial Doppler), cardiac output, and systemic vascular resistance (electric bioimpedance cardiography) were determined by noninvasive techniques before and 1 day and 7 days after low-density lipoprotein apheresis or extracorporeal erythrocyte filtration. Plasma and blood viscosities were measured at the same time.
Before apheresis, mean and diastolic cerebral flow velocities were abnormally low in hypercholesterolemic patients (P < .01 and P < .02 vs healthy control subjects, respectively). After apheresis, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was lowered by 40% to 60% from baseline, and cerebral blood flow velocities (mean, systolic, and diastolic velocities) were increased (P < .01). Cardiac output, systemic vascular resistance, and viscosity values were not significantly modified. Extracorporeal erythrocyte filtration (without passage of plasma through the dextran sulfate column) did not modify serum lipids, hemodynamic parameters, or viscosity values.
Low-density lipoprotein apheresis produces potentially useful hemodynamic effects. They are not adequately explained by changes in blood viscosity alone and might reflect a restoration of endothelium-mediated vasodilation, which is inhibited by high concentrations of low-density lipoprotein.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association