Hypertriglyceridemia is a common metabolic disturbance in men <45 years old with myocardial infarction. To further investigate the relation between triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and severity of coronary atherosclerosis in this subset of postinfarction patients, apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins of 64 consecutive patients were subfractionated in connection with coronary angiography.Methods and Results
Density-gradient ultracentrifugation of plasma and coronary angiography were performed 4 to 6 months after the myocardial infarction. Global coronary atherosclerosis and the number and severity of distinct stenoses were evaluated by seniquantitative analysis of 15 proximal coronary segments. The majority of the patients (60%o) were hypertriglyceridemic and had higher coronary scores than normotriglyceridemic patients. Of the major plasma lipoproteins, triglycerides and cholesterol in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) fraction were associated with global coronary atherosclerosis, whereas LDL triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol correlated directly and inversely, respectively, with the coronary stenosis score. Plasma apolipoprotein B correlated with both coronary scores. The plasma concentrations of lipid and protein in the very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) subfractions (VLDL1 through VLDL3) and intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) did not correlate with either of the coronary scores, whereas the concentration of triglycerides in dense LDL (density >1.040 kg/L) was strongly associated with both coronary scores. Compositional analysis of the smallest VLDL particles (VLDL3) and IDL revealed a correlation between the number of cholesteryl ester molecules in small VLDL and global coronary atherosclerosis in hypertriglyceridemic patients.Conclusions
Global coronary atherosclerosis and distinct stenoses in young postinfarction patients are associated with the number of apolipoprotein B-containing particles in plasma and the concentration of LDL triglyceride. Specifically, dense triglyceride-rich LDL particles and, in hypertriglyceridemic patients, small cholesteryl ester-rich VLDL particles relate to coronary artery disease severity.