Preventive cardiology| Volume 108, ISSUE 1, P40-46, July 01, 2011

Comparisons of Apolipoprotein B Levels Estimated by Immunoassay, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Vertical Auto Profile, and Non-High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Subjects With Hypertriglyceridemia (SAFARI Trial)

      Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride-rich lipoproteins constitute non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol. These are atherogenic lipoproteins and non-HDL cholesterol is a secondary target of treatment beyond LDL cholesterol in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. Some investigators favor total apolipoprotein B over non-HDL cholesterol as the secondary target of treatment. This is based on publications suggesting that total apolipoprotein B is more predictive of cardiovascular events than non-HDL cholesterol. Several methods are available for estimating total apolipoprotein B. This study compared total apolipoprotein estimated by immunonephelometric assay (INA), vertical auto profile (VAP), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and non-HDL cholesterol levels in patients with hypertriglyceridemia from the previously reported Simvastatin plus Fenofibrate for Combined Hyperlipidemia (SAFARI) trial. Total apolipoprotein B levels were found to be highest by INA, intermediate by NMR and non-HDL cholesterol, and lowest by VAP. Concordance for non-HDL cholesterol levels among the INA, VAP, and NMR methods was better than that for total apolipoprotein B levels; the correlation between non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B by INA was strongest (0.929). In patients with a low triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratio (<3.5), total apolipoprotein B determined by INA was higher than that estimated from non-HDL cholesterol levels, whereas in patients with a high triglyceride/HDL C ratio (≥3.5), apolipoprotein B predicted using non-HDL cholesterol was in better agreement with INA-determined apolipoprotein B levels. Similar trends were observed with VAP using equations specific for LDL particle size. In conclusion, more work is needed to improve agreement of apolipoprotein B measurements among methods employed clinically. Non-HDL cholesterol is also useful to predict total apolipoprotein B and some improvement may be attained by taking into account the ratio of triglyceride/HDL cholesterol as a measurement of LDL particle size.
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