LDL physical properties, lipoprotein and Lp(a) levels in acromegalic patients. Effects of octreotide therapy


      High vascular morbidity and mortality is associated with acromegaly. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of octreotide therapy on several known cardiovascular risk factors and to correlate them with octreotide-induced hormonal changes. Lipid levels, LDL particle size distribution as evaluated by single vertical spin density gradient ultracentrifugation, apolipoproteins AI and B, lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] concentrations and apo(a) phenotypes were evaluated in 20 non-diabetic acromegalic patients (6 M, 14 F), with normal thyroid, adrenal and gonadal function, aged 29–66 years. Normal subjects (20), matched for age, sex and BMI served as control for lipid variables. Acromegalic patients were characterized by lower HDL cholesterol (and apoA-I) and by higher Lp(a) concentrations in comparison to controls. Treatment with octreotide (100 μg t.i.d. for 3 months) led to: an increase in HDL cholesterol (median: +22%), a decrease in LDL cholesterol (−14%) and a decrease of the Lp(a) levels (all phenotypes) (−28%). The expected decreases of IGF-I levels (median: −48%) and 7-h AUC of GH (−50%), insulin (−40%), and glucagon (−20%) were observed. Only Lp(a) modifications showed a correlation with GH modifications. The study of LDL physical properties showed that acromegalic patients had smaller and/or more dense LDL particles, in comparison with normal controls (relative flotation rate, Rf: 0.40±0.03 versus 0.42±0.02 P<0.05), an alteration that might contribute to the high vascular risk of acromegalic patients. However, the LDL subfraction distribution remained unmodified during octreotide therapy (Rf 0.39±0.03). In conclusion, this study shows that in acromegalic patients octreotide treatment is indeed associated with an amelioration of some lipoprotein parameters, i.e. LDL, HDL, and Lp(a) concentrations. However, this treatment has no effect on the small and/or dense LDL particles present in these patients.


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