• Coronary flow velocity reserve;
  • Endothelial function;
  • Homocysteine;
  • PPAR-α

Summary  Introduction: Fenofibrate, an agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α), has a vascular protective effect. Aims: We investigated the effect of the PPAR-α agonist on coronary artery endothelial function in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. Methods: Fifty-eight patients with hypertriglyceridemia were divided into two groups: control (no treatment; n = 23) and fenofibrate treatment (n = 35), 200 mg/d, for 6 months. The patients had undergone rest and adenosine treatment to induce hyperemia for quantification of coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) by noninvasive Doppler echocardiography before treatment and at 6-month follow-up. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured before treatment and at 6-month follow-up. Results: CFVR was significantly improved with fenofibrate treatment as compared with baseline level and control group (3.14 ± 0.36 vs. 2.80 ± 0.58 and 2.79 ± 0.65, P < 0.01 and 0.05, respectively), with no difference between baseline levels and untreated controls. In addition, at 6 months, plasma level of homocysteine was significantly increased with fenofibrate treatment as compared with at baseline and control group (median 18.13 [range 14.46–22.02]μmol/L vs. 14.09 [12.01–18.81] and 13.34 [9.69–17.06]μmol/L, P < 0.001 and 0.01, respectively). Furthermore, at 6 months, PWV was significantly decreased with fenofibrate treatment as compared with control group (1446 ± 136 cm/s vs. 1570 ± 203 cm/s, P < 0.05). Conclusions: Treatment with PPAR-α agonist fenofibrate significantly improved CFVR and arterial stiffness in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. This endothelial protective effect may be reduced in part by the side effect of increasing homocysteine.