Association between fast-migrating low-density lipoprotein subfraction as characterized by capillary isotachophoresis and intima-media thickness of carotid artery



      A mildly modified LDL subfraction that is characterized by an increased negative charge exists in plasma. This electronegative LDL separated by ion-exchange chromatography has been shown to be inflammatory and its proportion is increased in patients with hyperlipidemia and diabetes mellitus. The present study examined the association between the level of fast (f)-migrating LDL subfraction characterized by capillary isotachophoresis (cITP) and carotid-artery intima-media thickness (CA-IMT).

      Methods and results

      This study included 469 subjects who underwent a physical examination. CA-IMT was determined by high-resolution B-model ultrasonoraphy. Levels of charge-based LDL subfractions were measured by cITP on a Beckman P/ACE MDQ system. An increased serum LDL-C level and cITP fLDL level were associated with increased CA-IMT after adjusting for age. The extent of the associations between cITP fLDL and CA-IMT and between LDL-C and CA-IMT were similar as assessed by a receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis. LDL-C, triglyceride, and remnant-like particle cholesterol levels were independently correlated with cITP fLDL, and the LDL-C level had the strongest correlation with cITP fLDL. The association between the cITP fLDL level and CA-IMT was significant in the high LDL-C stratum but not in the low stratum, indicating that it is modified by the LDL-C level. The high-LDL-C-high-fLDL group had the highest relative risk for a high CA-IMT among the groups with each combination of LDL-C and cITP fLDL level.


      The cITP fLDL level was associated with CA-IMT and its combination with the LDL-C level is a stronger indicator for a high CA-IMT.


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