Lege Artis Medicinae

[Non-HDL-cholesterol and its significance]

SIMONYI Gábor

FEBRUARY 20, 2012

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2012;22(02)

[The role of LDL-cholesterol in cardiovascular risk has been established in a number of studies. According to current recommendations, therefore, the primary goal of lipidlowering therapy is reducing the level of LDL-cholesterol. Of lipid-lowering drugs, statins are the most efficient in reducing cardiovascular risk. According to large studies on statins, however, there is a significant residual risk even in patients receiving aggressive treatment. It is well known that many patients continue to have dyslipidaemia despite statin therapy, and not all patients with cardiovascular disease have elevated LDL-cholesterol levels. These observations indicate that lipids other than LDL-cholesterol also have a role in the development of atherosclerosis. A growing attention is paid to non-HDL-cholesterol as a cardiovascular risk factor. Calculating non-HDL-cholesterol target is easy: LDL-cholesterol measurement plus 0,8. Non-HDL-cholesterol incorporates a number of atherogenic lipoprotein particles [VLDL-cholesterol, IDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and lipoprotein(a)]. As the atherogenic effect of apoB-containing lipoproteins (LDL, IDL-C és VLDL) is significant, they may be stronger predictors of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk than LDL-cholesterol is. Considering the strong correlation between apoB and non-HDLcholesterol and the limitations of apoB measurement (standardisation, cost), non- HDL-cholesterol is a more useful parameter and therapeutic target, especially if triglyceride levels are greater than 2.26 mmol/l.]

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[INTRODUCTION - Large hiatal hernias may result in cardiac space-occupying lesions. Our case study discusses the clinical aspects and the possible diagnostic approaches for such large hiatal hernias that cause cardiac compression. CASE REPORT - In an elderly patient with no cardiovascular symptoms, transthoracic echocardiography revealed a left atrial space-occupying mass. The diagnosis regarding the origin of the cardial mass was clarified by a glass of soda water drunk by the patient during echocardiography, as it resulted in a decrease in the inhomogenous echodensity of the mass and the appearance of “contrast bubbles” within it. This phenomenon suggested the presence of a large hiatal hernia compressing the heart, which was confirmed by gastroscopy and upper gastrointestinal barium examination. CONCLUSION - Drinking soda water during transthoracic echocardiography can help to diagnose lesions that look like intracardial tumours.]

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