PURPOSE: Several studies have provided support for a proatherogenic role for remnant lipoproteins. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare remnant- like particle (RLP) cholesterol levels in patients with coronary artery disease who were normolipidemic with those in controls of similar age and gender. We also assessed the usefulness of measuring RLP-cholesterol levels in patients with type III dyslipidemia. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Remnant-like particle cholesterol levels were measured in 63 normolipidemic men with coronary artery disease and 23 male controls of similar age as well as in 15 patients with type III dyslipidemia and 103 controls, using an immunoaffinity method. RESULTS: Remnant-like particle cholesterol levels were significantly increased in men with coronary artery disease compared with controls (7.6 ± 3.8 mg/dL versus 5.7 ± 1.9 mg/dL, P <0.01). In patients with coronary artery disease, RLP-cholesterol levels were correlated with total triglyceride and nonhigh-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, but not with HDL- cholesterol levels. RLP-cholesterol levels were significantly elevated in patients with type III dyslipidemia (median 119, range 31 to 240 mg/dL) compared with controls (median 5.6, range 2.2 to 10.5 mg/dL, P <0.001). CONCLUSION: Normolipidemic men with coronary artery disease have increased levels of RLP-cholesterol that is not detected with conventional lipid screening. The RLP-cholesterol assay is a simple method for detecting high concentrations of remnant lipoproteins in patients with type III dyslipidemia.
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