Vascular inflammation and metabolic activity in hematopoietic organs and liver in familial combined hyperlipidemia and heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.
Toutouzas K., Skoumas J., Koutagiar I., Benetos G., Pianou N., Georgakopoulos A., Galanakos S., Antonopoulos A., Drakopoulou M., Oikonomou EK., Kafouris P., Athanasiadis E., Metaxas M., Spyrou G., Pallantza Z., Galiatsatos N., Aggeli C., Antoniades C., Keramida G., Peters AM., Anagnostopoulos CD., Tousoulis D.
BACKGROUND: Familial dyslipidemias of either heterozygous (heFH) or combined (FCH) type lead to accelerated atherogenesis and increased cardiovascular risk. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate in statin-naïve adult patients with familial dyslipidemias whether inflammatory activation and liver, spleen and bone marrow metabolic activity differ compared with normolipidemic subjects and between dyslipidemic groups. METHODS: Fourteen patients with FCH, 14 with heFH, and 14 normolipidemic individuals were enrolled. Serum lipids, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and fibrinogen levels were measured, followed by 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography imaging. Radiotracer uptake in the aortic wall, spleen, bone marrow, and liver was quantified as tissue-to-background ratio (TBR). RESULTS: Patients with heFH had significantly higher low-density lipoprotein levels compared with those with FCH and controls (P < .001). However, aortic TBRs were higher in FCH compared with heFH patients and controls (P = .02 and P < .001, respectively). FCH patients exhibited higher FDG uptake in the spleen compared with controls (P = .05). In addition, FCH exhibited higher bone marrow FDG uptake compared with heFH patients and controls (P = .03 and P = .02, respectively). FCH had higher liver uptake compared with heFH patients and controls (P < .001 for both). Significant correlations were observed between inflammatory biomarkers and imaging indices as well as between aortic TBR and FDG uptake of hematopoietic organs and liver. CONCLUSIONS: Systemic, as well as vascular inflammation and spleen, bone marrow, and hepatic metabolic activity are increased in patients with FCH despite lower levels of low-density lipoprotein.