University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006
Pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of pravastatin in children
Studies in children with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and in pediatric cardiac transplant recipients
Doctoral dissertation, November 2006.
Background. Hyperlipidemia is a common concern in patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) and in cardiac transplant recipients. In both groups, an elevated serum LDL cholesterol level accelerates the development of atherosclerotic vascular disease and increases the rates of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this study is to assess the pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of cholesterol-lowering pravastatin in children with HeFH and in pediatric cardiac transplant recipients receiving immunosuppressive medication.
Patients and Methods. The pharmacokinetics of pravastatin was studied in 20 HeFH children and in 19 pediatric cardiac transplant recipients receiving triple immunosuppression. The patients ingested a single 10-mg dose of pravastatin, and plasma pravastatin concentrations were measured up to 10/24 hours. The efficacy and safety of pravastatin (maximum dose 10 to 60 mg/day and 10 mg/day) up to one to two years were studied in 30 patients with HeFH and in 19 cardiac transplant recipients, respectively. In a subgroup of 16 HeFH children, serum non-cholesterol sterol ratios (102 x mmol/mol of cholesterol), surrogate estimates of cholesterol absorption (cholestanol, campesterol, sitosterol), and synthesis (desmosterol and lathosterol) were studied at study baseline (on plant stanol esters) and during combination with pravastatin and plant stanol esters. In the transplant recipients, the lipoprotein levels and their mass compositions were analyzed before and after one year of pravastatin use, and then compared to values measured from 21 healthy pediatric controls. The transplant recipients were grouped into patients with transplant coronary artery disease (TxCAD) and patients without TxCAD, based on annual angiography evaluations before pravastatin.
Results. In the cardiac transplant recipients, the mean area under the plasma concentration-time curve of pravastatin [AUC(0-10)], 264.1 * 192.4 ng.h/mL, was nearly ten-fold higher than in the HeFH children (26.6 * 17.0 ng.h/mL). By 2, 4, 6, 12 and 24 months of treatment, the LDL cholesterol levels in the HeFH children had respectively decreased by 25%, 26%, 29%, 33%, and 32%. In the HeFH group, pravastatin treatment increased the markers of cholesterol absorption and decreased those of synthesis. High ratios of cholestanol to cholesterol were associated with the poor cholesterol-lowering efficacy of pravastatin. In cardiac transplant recipients, pravastatin 10 mg/day lowered the
LDL cholesterol by approximately 19%. Compared with the patients without TxCAD, patients with TxCAD had significantly lower HDL cholesterol concentrations and higher apoB-100/apoA-I ratios at baseline (1.0 ± 0.3 mmol/L vs. 1.4 ± 0.3 mmol/L, P = 0.031; and 0.7 ± 0.2 vs. 0.5 ± 0.1, P = 0.034) and after one year of pravastatin use (1.0 ± 0.3 mmol/L vs. 1.4 ± 0.3 mmol/L, P = 0.013; and 0.6 ± 0.2 vs. 0.4 ± 0.1, P = 0.005). Compared with healthy controls, the transplant recipients exhibited elevated serum triglycerides at baseline (median 1.3 [range 0.6-3.2] mmol/L vs. 0.7 [0.3-2.4] mmol/L, P=0.0002), which negatively correlated with their HDL cholesterol concentration (r = -0.523, P = 0.022). Recipients also exhibited higher apoB-100/apoA1 ratios (0.6 ± 0.2 vs. 0.4 ± 0.1, P = 0.005). In addition, elevated triglyceride levels were still observed after one year of pravastatin use (1.3 [0.5-3.5] mmol/L vs. 0.7 [0.3-2.4] mmol/L, P = 0.0004). Clinically significant elevations in alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, or creatinine ocurred in neither group.
Conclusions. Immunosuppressive medication considerably increased the plasma pravastatin concentrations. In both patient groups, pravastatin treatment was moderately effective, safe, and well tolerated. In the HeFH group, high baseline cholesterol absorption seemed to predispose patients to insufficient cholesterol-lowering efficacy of pravastatin. In the cardiac transplant recipients, low HDL cholesterol and a high apoB-100/apoA-I ratio were associated with development of TxCAD. Even though pravastatin in the transplant recipients effectively lowered serum total and LDL cholesterol concentrations, it failed to normalize their elevated triglyceride levels and, in some patients, to prevent the progression of TxCAD.
© University of Helsinki 2006
Last updated 08.11.2006