Sobenin IA, Karagodin VP, Melnichenko AC, Bobryshev YV, Orekhov AN.
J Clin Immunol. 2012 Oct 17. [Epub ahead of print]
Recently, it has been shown that increased level of LDL-containing circulating immune complexes (LDL-CIC) possess high diagnostic significance in clinically manifested atherosclerosis, but little is known about its diagnostic and prognostic significance in early atherosclerosis. Two-years prospective study was performed in 98 asymptomatic men aged 40-74. The rate of atherosclerosis progression was estimated by high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography as the increase in intima-media thickness (IMT) of common carotid arteries. The patients with elevated baseline levels of LDL-CIC were characterized by significantly higher levels of total and LDL cholesterol as well as significantly increased mean IMT of common carotid arteries. Among all baseline lipid parameters, only LDL-CIC and LDL cholesterol were contingent with the extent of early carotid atherosclerosis (p = 0.042 and p = 0.049, respectively) and had the highest levels of relative risk and odds ratio. During the follow up, significant IMT increase was registered in 53.1 % (n = 52) patients, IMT significant reduction was observed in 21.4 % (n = 21) patients. The increased levels of LDL-CIC, total serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol had similar prognostic significance with the respect of atherosclerosis progression. The normal level of LDL-CIC (below than 16.0 μg/ml) was the only lipid parameter that predicted the absence of carotid atherosclerosis progression for two following years at prognostic value of 78.3 %. The results of the study allow assuming that LDL-CIC level may be employed not only as a marker of early atherosclerosis, but also has a sufficient prognostic value for clinical implications.