Author(s): Deighan CJ, Caslake MJ, McConnell M, BoultonJones JM, Packard CJ
End-stage renal failure (ESRF) is associated with dyslipidemia and accelerated atherosclerosis. Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins accumulate and qualitative changes take place in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), with a predominance of the small dense LDL phenotype. Increased small dense LDL (LDLIII) is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. To assess the extent of LDLIII formation in ESRF and identify factors contributing to LDLIII production, we analyzed LDL subfractions by density-gradient ultracentrifugation, very low-density lipoprotein subfractions, and lipase activity in 75 patients with ESRF (25 hemodialysis [HD], 25 peritoneal dialysis [PD], and 25 predialysis patients) and 40 age- and sex-matched controls. The percentage of LDLIII was increased in all three patient groups compared with controls (PD, 33% +/- 29% [mean +/- SD]; P < 0.005; HD, 30% +/- 22%; P < 0.01; predialysis, 26% +/- 26%; P < 0.01; all versus controls, 14% +/- 10%). Plasma LDLIII concentration was increased only in PD patients (median, 84 mg/dL; interquartile range [IQR], 29 to 160 mg/dL versus controls; median, 31 mg/dL; IQR, 26 to 54 mg/dL). In other patient groups, total LDL level was less, with heterogeneity in LDLIII concentrations. Forty percent of PD patients and 28% of HD and predialysis patients had LDLIII concentrations greater than 100 mg/dL compared with 2.5% of controls (P = 0.002). Plasma triglyceride levels (r(2) = 38.4%; P < 0.001) and hepatic lipase activity (r(2) = 6.7%; P < 0.03) were independent predictors of LDLIII concentration. The strong association between LDLIII concentration and triglyceride level was present in all three patient groups (HD, r(2) = 47.9%; PD, r(2) = 45. 2%; predialysis, r(2) = 25.8%); plasma triglyceride levels greater than 177 mg/dL (2.0 mmol/L) had an 86% specificity and 79% sensitivity for predicting an LDLIII concentration greater than 100 mg/dL. We conclude that the atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype predominates in ESRF, with excess LDLIII particularly prominent in PD patients. Atherogenic levels of LDLIII are found in patients with triglyceride levels greater than 177 mg/dL. This is likely to represent a further cardiovascular risk factor in this population.