Interruption of long-term lipid-lowering treatment with bezafibrate in hypertriglyceridaemic patients Effects on lipoprotein composition, lipase activities and the plasma lipid fatty acid spectrum

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      When bezafibrate therapy was interrupted in patients who had been on continuous treatment for hyperlipoproteinemia for 4–10 years, there were significant increases in the serum cholesterol, triglyceride and apolipoprotein B concentrations corresponding to an increase pf the very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) levels by approximately 50%. This increase of VLDL was accompanied by reduced levels of the post-heparin lipoprotein lipase activity (LPLA) (P = 0.07) and hepatic lipase (P = 0.05) activity with a significant reduction of the skeletal muscle LPLA (P < 0.05), but not the adipose tissue LPLA, and a retarded removal of an i v injected fat emulsion (P < 0.01). There were no significant changes of the low or high density lipoprotein cholesterol or the apolipoprotein A-I or. A-II concentrations. Three months after bezafibrate treatment the content of linoleic and gammalinoleic acid in the plasma cholesterol ester had increased significantly, while the palmitoleic and oleic acids were reduced in spite of unchanged dietary treatment. Taken together, the data indicate that a lipid-lowering effect of bezafibrate, particularly on the VLDL lipids, is maintained throughout long treatment periods. One mechanism for the reduced level of the triglyceride-rich lipoproteins is an increased activity of the lipoprotein-lipase activity in the skeletal muscle, which decreased when the treatment was interrupted. The significance of the changes of the plasma lipid fatty acid spectrum during bezafibrate treatment remains unclear.


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