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VAP Cholesterol Test Helps Reveal Association Between Adiponectin Levels and Atherosclerosis

Detailed lipid profile helps clinicians identify risk in patients, including non-diabetics, despite normal LDL levels and statin therapy

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Using the VAP Cholesterol Test from Atherotech, researchers have identified a link between adiponectin and heart disease progression. The information could help physicians trying to pinpoint the most effective cholesterol and heart disease risk-lowering treatments in at-risk patients.

The association between low adiponectin levels, abnormal lipids, and increased coronary atherosclerosis was confirmed using the expanded cholesterol profiling capabilities of the VAP Test plus an adiponectin assay as part of an Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) substudy of the Diabetes Genome Project.

The single-center, prospective gene and biomarker banking registry was designed to collect extensive clinical and anatomic information on patients undergoing coronary angiography. For the substudy, fasting blood samples were collected from 185 patients undergoing coronary angiography and IVUS. Lipoprotein subclasses were measured by the VAP Test; adiponectin was measured using an immunoassay from R&D Systems.

Results of the study, published in the May issue of Diabetes Care, showed that low adiponectin levels are associated with small dense LDL cholesterol, increased plaque volume as measured by lipid-rich plaques, and a higher prevalence of IVUS-derived thickening of the inner-lining of blood vessels in non-diabetic patients. Seventy five percent of the patients were taking cholesterol lowering statins and had LDL cholesterol levels well below the required cut-off for study inclusion of 100mg/dL as well as normal HDL cholesterol levels and normal triglycerides.

"The VAP Test allowed us to define the relationship between adiponectin and circulating lipids," said Principal Investigator Steve Marso, M.D. "Had we not characterized the LDL subparticles we would not have found the association between adiponectin and small dense LDL, as there was not one between adiponectin and total LDL. This relationship between adiponectin and small dense LDL moieties may prove to be an important link in understanding the risk for patients to develop lipid laden atheroma."

The VAP Test provides researchers and medical professionals with direct measurement of LDL, HDL and all relevant subclasses, and includes non-HDL, a highly accurate determination of apoB, and emerging risk factors (such as Lp(a), remnants, and small dense LDL.)

"This indicates that even patients whose cholesterol results appear normal or who are on therapy may still harbor a significant atherogenic burden leading to the development of vulnerable plaques and narrowed arteries," said James Ehrlich, M.D., Atherotech's chief medical officer. "For the clinician, this demonstrates the value of identifying and lowering the substantial residual risk that remains despite aggressive statin monotherapy. A key feature of the comprehensive VAP Test is the identification of the major lipid components of residual risk leading to proper individualized therapy."

VAP technology has been used in more than 100 clinical trials and will continue to play an important role in clinical practice and -- as demonstrated by the present study -- as a valuable analytical research tool. The VAP Test is available nationwide. For more information on the VAP Test for research and clinical trial applications, call 877.901.8510 or e-mail

About Atherotech, Inc.

Atherotech is a cardio-diagnostic company focusing on direct measurement of the comprehensive lipid panel using the company's patented VAP Technology. The VAP Test directly measures the cholesterol content of all lipids, components and subclasses. It is the first cholesterol profile to comply with updated National Cholesterol Education Program ATP III recommendations calling for more accurate, direct low-density lipoprotein (LDL) measurement, which is unaffected by triglycerides. The VAP Cholesterol Test -- the new standard of care for patients at risk for cardiovascular disease -- is available through national and regional diagnostic laboratories and is reimbursed by most payers as well as Medicare. For more information, visit

SOURCE Atherotech, Inc.
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