Significance of Apolipoproteins for the Biochemical Profile of Atherosclerosis
The experimental induction in animals of a pattern similar to human atherosclerosis through a cholesterol-enriched diet and the finding of high plasma cholesterol levels in population groups at high risk for coronary disease suggested a close link between human atherosclerosis and hyperlipidemia. This underlies the “lipid hypothesis” of atherogenesis. A contributory factor in this were the epidemiological surveys that have flourished in recent years, all of which have pointed to a lipid parameter or to a ratio between lipid parameters as the best biochemical marker of coronary risk. From time to time total cholesterol (1), LDL-C (2), HDL-C (3) and the LDL-C/HDL-C ratio (4) have taken turns as the best discriminator of coronary risk. If we look however to studies performed in large series of atherosclerotic patients we can observe that a hyperlipidaemic state is not frequently recorded. Gotto et al. (5) have recorded a significant plasma cholesterol gradient with advancing coronary occlusion, but the values were always within normal confidence limits. Goldstein et al (6) had observed a hyperlipidemia in only 31% of their series of 500 survivors.
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