Background: We tested whether fasting and postprandial triglyceride-rich lipoprotein elevations are gender specific (1) in patients with carotid artery stenosis ≥50% vs controls, and (2) in patients with echolucent, rupture-prone plaques compared with controls. Methods and results: We studied 66 controls and 323 patients with carotid artery stenosis ≥50%, of which 160 had echolucent plaques. Participants underwent a fat-tolerance test and carotid artery plaque evaluation with use of high-resolution B-mode ultrasound and computerized image analysis. By comparison, female cases with carotid stenosis ≥50% had higher fasting and postprandial triglyceride levels than did controls; however, this difference was not observed between male cases and controls. Fasting and postprandial very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and intermediate density liprotein (IDL) cholesterol levels were elevated; low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level was unchanged, and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level was reduced in both female and male cases vs controls. Fasting and postprandial triglyceride levels were elevated in women with echolucent plaques vs controls, but not in women with echo-rich plaques, or in men with echolucent or echo-rich plaques. Fasting and postprandial VLDL and IDL cholesterol levels were elevated, LDL cholesterol level was unchanged, and HDL cholesterol level was reduced in both female and male patients with echolucent plaques vs controls. Conclusions: Fasting and postprandial triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (but not LDLs) are elevated in patients with carotid artery stenosis of ≥50% compared with controls, and particularly identify echolucent, rupture-prone carotid plaques. These observations are more pronounced in women than in men.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine