The influence of hypoalbuminemia in the generation of nephrotic hyperlipidemia


      Lipoprotein measurements in a group of 29 patients with massive proteinuria and without hypoalbuminemia, were compared with those observed in matched controls and patients with overt nephrotic syndrome to assess the influence of plasma albumin concentration and proteinuria in modulating blood lipid levels. Plasma apoprotein B and apo B containing lipoproteins were not increased in proteinuric normoalbuminemic patients. There was a good correlation between plasma albumin and oncotic pressure (r = 0.937; P < 0.001). Plasma oncotic pressure was inversely correlated with plasma apoprotein B in nephrotic patients (r = −0.44, P = 0.017) but not in normoalbuminemics (r = 0.17, P = 0.369), suggesting that plasma albumin affects apoprotein B secretion. Other findings, however, indicate that multiple processes are ocurring simultaneously in these patients. There was an accumulation of very low- and intermediate density lipoproteins in normoalbuminemics, suggesting a residual defect in the lipoprotein removal. Also, raised (P < 0.05) lipoprotein(a) levels respect to controls (median, 0.15 g/l) were noted in both, normoalbuminemics (median, 0.72 g/l) and hypoalbuminemics (median, 0.84 g/l) with similar degree of proteinuria (6.4 vs. 6.6 g/24 h), suggesting that other mechanisms may be operative in lipoprotein(a) derangements. Our findings suggest that there is no unique mechanism in the pathogenesis of nephrotic hyperlipidemia but that both hypoalbuminemia and proteinuria can have a distinct contribution, individually or in combination.


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