Optimal medical management of patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) includes statin therapy, which has been shown to decrease the risk of major cardiovascular events. However, the relationship between low-density lipoprotein (LDL) lowering, PAD progression and limb outcomes remains controversial. Although prevention of coronary and cerebrovascular events is a priority, limb outcomes are still important determinants of quality of life and healthcare spending. This review will highlight differences between coronary artery disease (CAD) and PAD, and in particular, the more prevalent role of lipids and LDL cholesterol in CAD versus calcification in PAD. This difference may contribute to the differential impact of LDL cholesterol levels on coronary events and outcomes versus limb outcomes. Beyond LDL lowering, immune modulators have emerged as another agent to treat atherosclerosis in CAD, however similar data in PAD are lacking. Small studies have suggested that other lipids besides LDL cholesterol, such as triglycerides or small dense LDL, may have a greater impact on limb outcomes in patients with PAD. Although statin therapy is central in the management of patients with PAD, current understanding of the distinctions between PAD and CAD suggest that there may be other non-LDL targets for risk reduction that require further study.
- atherosclerotic and lipoproteins
- peripheral arterial disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)