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Treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia in children and adolescents: effect of lovastatin. Canadian Lovastatin in Children Study Group.

Author(s): Lambert M, Lupien PJ, Gagne C, Levy E, Blaichman S, Langlois S, Hayden M, Rose V, Clarke JT, Wolfe BM, Clarson C, Parsons H, Stephure DK, Potvin D, Lambert J

Affiliation(s): Department of Pediatrics, Hopital Sainte-Justine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Publication date & source: 1996-05, Pediatrics., 97(5):619-28.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE. Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), an inherited autosomal dominant disorder of lipoprotein metabolism, is associated with premature atherosclerosis. The recommended pediatric therapy consists of dietary intervention and, when necessary, treatment with bile acid-binding resins. However, compliance has been poor in many children. Therefore, our objectives were to determine the efficacy, safety, and tolerance of the short-term use of lovastatin, a 3-hydroxy 3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor, in the control of severe FH in a male pediatric population and to evaluate the dose-response relationship. METHODS. Sixty-nine male patients with FH 12.9 +/- 2.4 years of age (mean +/- SD) participated in this multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial. After a 4-week placebo period, the patients were allocated to four treatment groups (lovastatin 10, 20, 30, 40 mg/d) for 8 weeks. Plasma lipid and apolipoprotein (Apo) concentrations were measured every 2 weeks. Clinical and laboratory evidence of adverse events was monitored periodically throughout the study. RESULTS. All lovastatin doses reduced total cholesterol (-17% to -29%), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (-21% to -36%), and ApoB (-19% to -28%) concentrations. A dose-response relationship was seen, and between-group comparisons showed that results were significantly improved up to a dose of 30 mg/d. We observed a 7% increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a 4% increase in ApoA1 concentrations. The medication was well tolerated by all patients. No serious clinical adverse experience was reported. Lovastatin increased aspartate aminotransferase concentrations, but there was no evidence of a dose-response relationship, and no value exceeded two times the upper limit of normal. No significant change in alanine aminotransferase was observed. Three patients had marked (more than three times the upper limit of normal) asymptomatic elevations in their creatine kinase values, which returned spontaneously to normal, and no action was required regarding the drug.

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