Acute high-density lipoprotein therapies

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Purpose of review

Increasing interest has focused on the strategies that target the atheroprotective properties of HDL in order to reduce cardiovascular risk. The potential impact of strategies to acutely promote HDL functionality will be reviewed.

Recent findings

Population and animal studies suggest that HDLs have a protective impact on atherosclerotic plaque. However, the failure of recent clinical trials of HDL cholesterol-raising agents has raised concerns that this may not be a viable strategy to reduce cardiovascular risk. Increasing attention has highlighted the importance of the functional quality, as opposed to quantity, of HDL with evidence of impaired HDL function in the setting of acute coronary syndromes (ACSs). The finding that infusing HDL in patients with recent acute ischemic events promotes the rapid regression of coronary atherosclerosis suggests a potentially useful strategy for ACS patients, although this remains to be fully established in large clinical outcome trials.


Infusing HDL has favorable effects on coronary atherosclerosis in ACS patients, suggesting a potentially beneficial therapeutic strategy to acutely promote HDL functionality.

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