Background: Leucocyte activation is an obligatory factor in the development of atherosclerosis. The postprandial situation has been associated to increased leucocyte activation in several disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and familial combined hyperlipidaemia. Our study aim was to evaluate the effect of post-OGTT hyperglycaemia on leucocyte activation in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Materials and methods: Patients who met the diagnostic criteria for heterozygous FH and healthy volunteers were asked to undergo an oral glucose tolerance test. Leucocyte activation markers CD11b and CD66b were determined by flow cytometry. Post-OGTT changes were calculated as area under the curve (AUC) and the incremental area under the curve corrected for baseline values (dAUC). The impact of being an FH patient and using statins on the time-dependent profile of the leucocyte activation markers was studied with repeated measurements analysis. Results: Thirteen FH patients using statins, nine FH patients without statins and 14 healthy volunteers were included. FH subjects on statins had a slightly higher HbA1c than those not using these drugs or controls. Post-OGTT glucose levels were significantly higher in patients with FH when compared to healthy controls (P = 0·001). These effects were independent from the use of statins. Conclusions: Surprisingly, our study shows impaired post-OGTT glucose excursions in patients with FH compared to healthy volunteers. Post-OGTT hyperglycaemia may be related to persistent post-OGTT activation of monocytes in FH patients compared to healthy controls, and therefore, it may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease in patients with FH.

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European Journal of Clinical Investigation

Koks, N., de Vries, M. A., Birnie, E., Alipour, A., & Castro Cabezas, M. (2017). Glucose-dependent leucocyte activation in familial hypercholesterolemia. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2017, 1–8. doi:10.1111/eci.12818