Characteristics of low-density and high-density lipoprotein subclasses in pediatric renal transplant recipients.
ABSTRACT Renal transplant recipients often suffer from dyslipidemia which is one of the principal risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This study sought to determine characteristics of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles and their associations with carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in a group of pediatric renal transplant recipients. We also examined the influence of immunosuppressive therapy on measured LDL and HDL particle characteristics. HDL size and subclass distribution were determined using gradient gel electrophoresis, while concentrations of small, dense LDL (sdLDL)-cholesterol (sdLDL-C) and sdLDL-apolipoprotein B (sdLDL-apoB) using heparin-magnesium precipitation method in 21 renal transplant recipients and 32 controls. Renal transplant recipients had less HDL 2b (P < 0.001), but more HDL 3a (P < 0.01) and 3b (P < 0.001) subclasses. They also had increased sdLDL-C (P < 0.01) and sdLDL-apoB (P < 0.05) levels. The proportion of the HDL 3b subclasses was a significant predictor of increased cIMT (P < 0.05). Patients treated with cyclosporine had significantly higher sdLDL-C and sdLDL-apoB concentrations (P < 0.05) when compared with those on tacrolimus therapy. Pediatric renal transplant recipients have impaired distribution of HDL and LDL particles. Changes in the proportion of small-sized HDL particles are significantly associated with cIMT. Advanced lipid testing might be useful in evaluating the effects of immunosuppressive therapy.