Epidemiological data have shown that haemorheological disorders are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis. We evaluated the effect of the nicotinic acid derivative acipimox on haemorheological and lipid parameters in 18 patients with mixed hyperlipoproteinaemia using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study protocol.Methods
Patients (7 women, 11 men, aged 49.3±3.0 years) were investigated with acipimox (dose adjusted to weight, 500 or 750 mg daily) compared with placebo treatment each for 12 weeks. Lipid parameters, whole blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, fibrinogen, and red cell aggregation at native and standardized (0.45) haematocrit as well as red cell filterability were measured at baseline, at week 12 (change of therapy), and at week 24.Results
Total cholesterol concentration (8.30±0.32 vs 8.72±0.36 mmol/l−1) and apolipoprotein B (198.5±9.9 vs 217±9.9 mg dl−1) were significantly lower (P<0.05) during acipimox therapy compared with placebo, no significant changes were observed for triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol. However, total high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol (1.24±0.05 vs 1.10±0.05 mmol l−1, P<0.001) as well as HDL2 and HDL3 cholesterol (P<0.05) were significantly higher during acipimox therapy. The LDL cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio significantly improved during acipimox therapy (4.63±0.25 vs 5.49±0.26, P<0.001). Red cell aggregation at native and standardized haematocrit were the only haemorheological parameters which improved during acipimox therapy in comparison with placebo (shear rate 3 s−1: 10.69±0.40 vs 11.50±0.44 U, P<0.05, for native red cell aggregation; 10.40±0.36 vs 11.28±0.39 U, P<0.05, for standardized red cell aggregation).Conclusions
We conclude, that the cardiovascular risk profile improves during acipimox therapy due to an elevation in HDL cholesterol and its subfractions as well as a decrease in red cell aggregation.