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Retrospective Analysis of Long-term Lipid Apheresis at a Single Center


  • Presented in part at the Annual Meeting of the German Society of Nephrology held September 2006 in Essen, Germany, and the German Society of Internal Medicine held April 2006 in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Dr Michael J Koziolek, Department of Nephrology and Rheumatology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany. Email:


We retrospectively analyzed 10 906 lipid apheresis sessions (heparin-induced lipoprotein precipitation, direct adsorption of lipoproteins, double filtration plasmapheresis, dextran sulfate adsorption, and immunoadsorption) in 38 patients who were consecutively treated in our department during the last 20 years. The incidences of major cardiovascular events (MACE) (death, cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, limb amputation, and renal vascular involvement) were taken separately as primary end-points or as a combined end-point. The time-course of secondary end-points (coronary and extracranial status of arteries, left ventricular function, occlusive artery disease, and calculated glomerular filtration rate [cGFR]) were also evaluated, as well as the extent of the reduction in plasma lipids and lipoproteins and the incidence of therapy associated side-effects. MACE decreased from 7.02% events per patient per year at the start of lipid apheresis to 1.17% during lipid apheresis and the rate of myocardial revascularization decreased from 22.8% to 3.8% per patient per year. Classical (diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, and smoking history), as well as novel risk factors (cGFR < 60 mL/min, statin withdrawal, mixed hyperlipoproteinemia, and elevated lipoprotein (a)) were associated with an elevated risk for MACE. All applied methods had comparable effects. All lipid apheresis methods proved to be safe and suitable for long-term treatment. The present data demonstrate that treatment with lipid apheresis is very effective and leads to long-term reduction in cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.