Coronary artery bypass grafting in familial hypercholesterolemia

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Familial hypercholesterolemia is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by a mutation of the gene for the low-density lipoprotein receptor and is characterized by rapidly progressing coronary atherosclerosis. We assessed the long-term results of coronary artery bypass grafting performed during the past 13 years in 62 patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, whose mean plasma total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was 327 mg/dl and 238 mg/dl, respectively. The patients had severe coronary atherosclerosis, with coronary stenosis index of 19.7, and the prevalence of extracoronary atherosclerotic lesions was 27%. Sixty-one patients underwent successful coronary artery bypass operation, with an average of 2.5 grafts, and the coronary stenosis index decreased to 7.1. After operation, all patients consumed a cholesterol-lowering diet and received drug therapy with pravastatin, probucol, or cholestyramine. Seven patients who were resistant to drug therapy were treated with plasma low-density lipoprotein apheresis. The cholesterol-lowering therapy reduced plasma total cholesterol level by 37%, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level by 42%, and low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio by 37% ( p < 0.001). During the follow-up period (mean, 52 months; range, 10 to 157 months), there was no cardiac death, but three patients died of malignant disease. The actuarial survival rate was 95% at 5 years and 89% at 12 years after operation. The actuarial freedom from recurrent angina was 90% at 5 years and 53% at 11 years after operation. Four patients underwent reoperation, an average of 8 years postoperatively, because of vein graft atherosclerosis. In spite of severe coronary atherosclerosis, these patients with familial hypercholesterolemia showed good long-term outcome after coronary artery bypass operation. The present findings suggest that aggressive use of arterial grafts, intensive cholesterol-lowering drug therapy, and low-density lipoprotein apheresis may be useful in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia. (J THORAC CARDIOVASC SURG 1995;109:364-9). © 1995 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.




Kawasuji, M., Sakakibara, N., Takemura, H., Matsumoto, Y., Mabuchi, H., & Watanabe, Y. (1995). Coronary artery bypass grafting in familial hypercholesterolemia. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 109(2), 364–369.

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