To determine whether at least part of the fall in low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels during lovastatin therapy might be the result of a reduced secretion of lipoproteins by the liver, three children 6 to 9 years of age with receptor-negative homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia underwent treatment with lovastatin. These patients have no capacity to synthesize LDL receptors. During lovastatin therapy, at a dose of 2 mg/kg/day, there was no decrease in LDL-cholesterol levels, nor was the turnover rate of LDL affected by the drug. The only significant change was a 74% drop in very low-density lipoprotein during treatment. We conclude that lovastatin is not effective in treatment of receptor-negative homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. The most likely mechanism of action for this drug is to increase LDL receptor activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health