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Relation of cholesterol and lipoprotein parameters with carotid artery plaque characteristics: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) carotid MRI study.

Virani SS, Catellier DJ, Pompeii LA, Nambi V, Hoogeveen RC, Wasserman BA, Coresh J, Mosley TH, Otvos JD, Sharrett AR, Boerwinkle E, Ballantyne CM. Relation of cholesterol and lipoprotein parameters with carotid artery plaque characteristics: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) carotid MRI study. Atherosclerosis. 2011 Dec 1; 219(2):596-602.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: There is a paucity of data regarding relations of apolipoproteins (apolipoprotein B [ApoB] and apolipoprotein A-1 [Apo A-1]), lipoprotein particle measures (low-density lipoprotein particle concentration [LDLp] and high-density lipoprotein particle concentration [HDLp]), and lipoprotein cholesterol measures (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C], non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [non-HDL-C], and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C]) with atherosclerotic plaque burden, plaque eccentricity, and lipid-rich core presence as a marker of high-risk plaques. METHODS: Carotid artery magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 1670 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study participants. Vessel wall and lipid cores were measured; normalized wall index (NWI), standard deviation (SD) of wall thickness (measure of plaque eccentricity) were calculated; and lipid cores were detected in vessels with = 1.5mm thickness. Fasting concentrations of cholesterol, ApoB and Apo A-1, and LDLp and HDLp were measured. RESULTS: Measures of plaque burden (carotid wall volume, wall thickness, and NWI) were positively associated with atherogenic cholesterol and lipoproteins (p < 0.05 for total cholesterol, LDL-C, non-HDL-C, ApoB, and LDLp), but not with HDL-C, Apo A-1, or HDLp. SD of wall thickness was associated with total cholesterol (p 0.01) and non-HDL-C (p 0.02). Although measures of atherogenic or anti-atherogenic cholesterol or lipoprotein were not individually associated with detection of a lipid-rich core, their ratios (total cholesterol/HDL-C, non-HDL-C/HDL-C, and LDLp/HDLp) were associated with lipid-rich core presence (p = 0.05). CONCLUSION: Extent of carotid atherosclerosis is associated with atherogenic cholesterol and lipoproteins. Atherogenic/anti-atherogenic cholesterol or particle ratios were associated with presence of a detectable lipid-rich core.





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