08 February 2007
Background: The pathophysiological role and metabolic pathway of Lp(a) have not been clearly defined. An association between Lp(a) and oxidative low-density lipoprotein (LDL) were recently reported. And small dense LDL (sd-LDL) were associated with circulating malondialdehyde-modified LDL. We investigated the relationships between serum Lp(a) level and LDL particle size in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients. Further, we investigated the relationships of sd-LDL and Lp(a) with the extent and severity of CAD. Methods: A total of 490 patients (mean: 60.5 ± 11.5 years old) who underwent coronary angiography to evaluate chest pain were investigated. Patients were classified into two groups, a CAD group (n = 256), who had significant stenosis observed by coronary angiogram, and a control group (n = 234), who had normal, or minimal coronary arteries. CAD severity was measured by Gensini scores. The distribution of the LDL subfraction was analyzed using a Quantimetrix Lipoprint LDL System. Results: The serum Lp(a) concentration was correlated with the fraction of sd-LDL (r = 0.193, p < 0.001) and mean LDL size (r = 0.160, p = 0.003). The Lp(a) level and mean LDL particle size were significantly correlated with a high Gensini score. LDL particle size in the CAD group was smaller than in the control group (26.74 ± 0.64 vs. 26.43 ± 0.93 nm, p < 0.001). The Gensini score was significantly higher in small LDL with high Lp(a) level groups. Conclusion: The positive correlation of the level of Lp(a) and sd-LDL fraction were demonstrated. The mechanism of this association is not clearly defined; we can suggest that it may stem from the individual atherogenic condition that linked to increased oxidative stress. Both increased Lp(a) and sd-LDL fraction were correlated with the severity of CAD.