LDL Apheresis for Cholesterol Embolism Following Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery-A Case Report

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A 76-year-old man without any prior history of abnormal urinalysis findings or renal insufficiency demonstrated mild renal dysfunction after coronary bypass graft surgery (CABG). Two months after CABG, pain and blueness in the toes (blue toe syndrome) appeared and, the serum creatinine level (S-Cr) increased from 1.2 to 2.0 mg/dL. On admission (3 months later), the urinary protein level was 0.5 g/day, white blood cell count 8,300/μL with eosinophils (Eo) 10.5%, S-Cr 2.1 mg/dL, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) 106 mg/dL. Acute renal failure and blue toe syndrome due to a cholesterol embolism (CE) were diagnosed. Alprostadil 40 μg/day orally for 2 weeks and alprostadil 40 μg/day intravenously were used for 5 weeks, and Eo were 250/μL, S-Cr 2.5 mg/dL; however, blue toe syndrome gradually developed. At 8 weeks after admission, limaprost alfadex 30 μg/day orally was used for 3 weeks. However, the Eo gradually rose to 1,520/μL, S-Cr to 3.0 mg/dL, and LDL to 135 mg/dL, and LDL apheresis was therefore performed 20 times for CE. The data just after LDL apheresis was performed 10 times were as follows: Eo 1,120/μL, S-Cr 4.0 mg/dL, and LDL 89 mg/dL, and blue toe syndrome had disappeared. At 10 months after the first LDL apheresis, the Eo were 630/μL, S-Cr 2.9 mg/dL, and LDL 109 mg/dL. As a result, LDL apheresis was found to be beneficial for the treatment of CE with acute renal failure and blue toe syndrome after CABG.

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