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Reduced adrenal stress response in patients on PCSK9 inhibitor therapy


Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS

Treatment with proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 inhibitors (PCSK9i), in addition to statin therapy, reduces LDL-cholesterol (LDL-c) in some patients to extremely low levels (i.e.< 20 mg/dl or < 0.52 mmol/l). There is concern that at such low levels, the physiologic role of cholesterol may be impaired, e.g. the adrenal cortisol stress response might be compromised. We therefore evaluated the effect of PCSK9i therapy on the cortisol response to ACTH in patients with LDL-c down to extremely low levels.

METHODS

Nineteen patients on PCSK9i therapy and 18 controls matched for age, gender and comorbidities were included. The cortisol response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) was tested after application of 250 μg ACTH.

RESULTS

LDL-c levels ranged from 0.42 to 3.32 mmol/l (mean 1.38 ± 0.84 mmol/l) in the PCSK9i group and 0.81-4.82 mmol/l (mean 2.10 ± 0.97) in the control group. By analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), the PCSK9i group had significantly lower cortisol response compared to the control group (- 97.26 nmol/l, -178.60 to -15.93, p = 0.02) after 60 min. There was a significant positive correlation between the duration of PCSK9i treatment and cortisol levels (r = 0.59, p = 0.009). Extremely low LDL-c levels down to 0.42 mmol/l were not associated with lower stimulated cortisol levels.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients on PCSK9i therapy showed a significantly lower cortisol response to ACTH. Stimulated cortisol levels were lower in the first months of PCSK9i treatment, suggesting an adaptive phenomenon. We conclude that the adrenal stress response in patients on PCSK9 inhibitor therapy is reduced.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS

Treatment with proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 inhibitors (PCSK9i), in addition to statin therapy, reduces LDL-cholesterol (LDL-c) in some patients to extremely low levels (i.e.< 20 mg/dl or < 0.52 mmol/l). There is concern that at such low levels, the physiologic role of cholesterol may be impaired, e.g. the adrenal cortisol stress response might be compromised. We therefore evaluated the effect of PCSK9i therapy on the cortisol response to ACTH in patients with LDL-c down to extremely low levels.

METHODS

Nineteen patients on PCSK9i therapy and 18 controls matched for age, gender and comorbidities were included. The cortisol response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) was tested after application of 250 μg ACTH.

RESULTS

LDL-c levels ranged from 0.42 to 3.32 mmol/l (mean 1.38 ± 0.84 mmol/l) in the PCSK9i group and 0.81-4.82 mmol/l (mean 2.10 ± 0.97) in the control group. By analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), the PCSK9i group had significantly lower cortisol response compared to the control group (- 97.26 nmol/l, -178.60 to -15.93, p = 0.02) after 60 min. There was a significant positive correlation between the duration of PCSK9i treatment and cortisol levels (r = 0.59, p = 0.009). Extremely low LDL-c levels down to 0.42 mmol/l were not associated with lower stimulated cortisol levels.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients on PCSK9i therapy showed a significantly lower cortisol response to ACTH. Stimulated cortisol levels were lower in the first months of PCSK9i treatment, suggesting an adaptive phenomenon. We conclude that the adrenal stress response in patients on PCSK9 inhibitor therapy is reduced.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Cardiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
Language:English
Date:May 2021
Deposited On:15 Feb 2022 16:23
Last Modified:27 May 2024 01:54
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0021-9150
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.03.028
PubMed ID:33892329