OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship of high density lipoprotein subfractions to newly-diagnosed lower extremity artery disease (LEAD) in individuals without diabetes mellitus and without hypolipidemic therapy.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study involves 106 subjects: 51 had newly diagnosed LEAD and no diabetes anamnesis and were not on hypolipidemic therapy; and 55 controls were without clinical presentation of LEAD and were normolipidemic. Analysis of HDL subclasses was performed by an innovative electrophoresis method on polyacrylamide gel (PAG), the Lipoprint HDL System.
RESULTS: In LEAD subjects, total HDL-C levels as well as HDL2 (intermediate-to-large particles) subfraction levels were decreased (p<0.0001 and p<0.019 respectively). Interestingly the HDL3 (small particles) subfraction was significantly higher and lost its proportional relationship within the HDL cholesterol fraction (p<0.025, p<0.01 respectively).
CONCLUSION: These findings pointed out that: (i) the reduction of HDL-C and especially HDL2 subpopulation opposite to the increase of small HDL3 subclass may be considered as important predictors of cardiovascular diseases. (ii) there are undisputable advantages of using Lipoprint HDL to identify HDL subfractions; the presence of high concentration of small HDL in patients with PAD/LEAD emphasizes that the potentially proatherogenic subclass of HDL family is linked to small HDL.