2008 Jul;9(6):415-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1293.2008.00574.x. Epub 2008 May 4.
The interaction between lipoprotein(a), an emerging cardiovascular risk factor, and antiretrovirals (ARVs) has been less well studied than the interaction between either cholesterol or triglycerides and these drugs. In this study we assessed the effect of initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) on lipoprotein(a) levels.
Fasting samples from 95 patients initiating ART with nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors plus nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors or protease inhibitors were obtained. Lipids and lipoproteins were determined until week 48.
As in the general population, the study population showed a highly skewed lipoprotein(a) distribution (median 9.9 mg/dL, range 0.1-110 mg/dL). The study population was divided into individuals with lipoprotein(a) >or=30 mg/dL at baseline (n=28) and those with <30 mg/dL (n=67). Almost exclusively, patients with high lipoprotein(a) at baseline (median 51.6 mg/dL) showed a profound increase of median 26.7 mg/dL (week 24). This effect was not associated with specific ARVs and was independent of changes in other lipids. The low-lipoprotein(a) group (baseline median 7 mg/dL) showed a small increase of median 2.6 mg/dL (week 24).
Marked increases in lipoprotein(a) after initiation of ART were mainly restricted to patients with high baseline levels. This may have clinical implications as patients with high lipoprotein(a) are at higher risk for myocardial infarction and stroke
Mechanisms underlying the cardiovascular risk of lipoprotein(a) are poorly understood. We investigated the relationship of apolipoprotein(a) (apo(a)) size, lipoprotein(a), and allele-specific apo(a) levels with HIV disease activity parameters in a biethnic population.
Lipoprotein(a) and allele-specific apo(a) levels were determined in 139 white and 168 black HIV-positive patients. Plasma HIV RNA viral load and CD4+ T-cell count were used as surrogates for disease activity. Lipoprotein(a) and allele-specific apo(a) levels were higher in blacks than whites (for both P<0.001). Apo(a) allele size distribution was similar between the 2 ethnic groups, with a median apo(a) size of 28 kringle 4 repeats. Allele-specific apo(a) levels were positively associated with CD4+ T-cell count (P=0.027) and negatively with plasma HIV RNA viral load (P<0.001). Further, allele-specific apo(a) levels associated with smaller (<28 kringle 4) atherogenic apo(a) sizes were higher in subjects with CD4+ T-cell counts of ≥350 (P=0.002).
Allele-specific apo(a) levels were higher in subjects with high CD4+ T-cell count or low plasma HIV RNA viral load. The findings suggest that HIV disease activity reduced allele-specific apo(a) levels. Higher allele-specific apo(a) levels associated with atherogenic small apo(a) sizes might contribute to increased cardiovascular risk in HIV-positive subjects with improved disease status.