2005 Volume 12 Issue 5 Pages 237-239
The term “lipid triad” or “atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype” has been introduced to describe a common form of dyslipidemia, characterized by three lipid abnormalities: increased plasma triglyceride levels, decreased HDL-cholesterol concentrations and the presence of small, dense LDL particles. It has been suggested that the clinical importance of the atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype probably exceeds that of LDL-cholesterol, because many more patients with coronary artery disease are found to have this trait than hypercholesterolaemia. There is a body of evidence that therapies effective against plasma HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides are associated with a strong reduction of cardiovascular risk; in addition, hypolipidemic treatment is able to increase LDL particle size and this increment correlates with regression of coronary stenosis. Recently, the Coordinating Committee of the National Cholesterol Education Program suggested that very high-risk patients may benefit from stronger lipid-lowering measures, a category of individuals that includes those with the atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype. Since the therapeutical modulation of each of the three components of the lipid triad is associated with a strong reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events, LDL size measurement may be extended as much as possible to patients at high risk of cardiovascular diseases.