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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Emerging Cardiovascular Risk Markers. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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LpPLA2 and Cardiovascular Risk

There have been dozens of clinical studies demonstrating LpPLA2's ability to predict cardiovascular risk. A 2008 study showed that people whose LpPLA2 concentrations were in the upper quartile were 1.64 times more likely to have a cardiac event than those in the lowest quartile. A meta-analysis (a study that sums the results of several other studies) performed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic showed that the unadjusted odds ratio for the association between elevated Lp-PLA2 levels and cardiovascular disease risk was 1.51, indicating that patients with elevated LpPLA2 patients had 1.51 times the risk of cardiovascular disease or events.
Therapies directed at lowering Lp-PLA2 levels may represent a novel approach to reducing cardiovascular risk. Statins like Lipitor or Crestor appear to significantly lower Lp-PLA2 levels. Other drugs such as fibrates and niacin may also lower Lp-PLA2 levels, though this is less well-established. Research is currenlty underway with a new drug called Darapladib. This drugs is a selective Lp-PLA2 inhibitor and in 2013, was in phase III clinical trials for prevention of recurrent vascular events in patients with coronary artery disease.
LpPLA2 testing is currently marketed as the 'PLAC' test. This particular test is patented by the manufacturer and is touted as being "useful for individuals at intermediate or high risk for developing coronary heart disease who are any age with at least two major risk factors, ≥65 years of age with one major risk factor, smokers, with a fasting blood glucose of ≥ 100 mg/dL, or who have metabolic syndrome. In addition, the Lp-PLAC2 test may be used to assess the risk of stroke."