Patrick M. Moriarty, M.D., director of clinical pharmacology and the Atherosclerosis/Lipid-apheresis Center has co-authored a multisite clinical trial study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Until the FDA approves new drugs to combat lipoprotein a, the only known therapies to successfully lower Lp(a) and risk of cardiovascular disease are PCSK9 inhibitors (PCSK9i) and Lipid-apheresis.
PCSK9i are injectables given once every two weeks that can lower LDL and Lp(a). Unfortunately, the reduction of Lp(a) with PCSK9i is not consistent, but reductions can be from 15 to 30 percent.
Lipid-apheresis is therapy approved for the past 20 years by both private insurance and Medicare. Treatment is somewhat similar to the process that removes plasma from the bloodstream during a plasma exchange or that removes extra water and toxins from the body during dialysis.
Lipid-apheresis can lower the amount of LDL and Lp(a) by 70 percent. Treatments are usually once every two weeks and last 2-3 hours.
Another study from Dr. Moriarty's clinic, also recently published, demonstrated that patients who had cardiovascular disease with an elevated Lp(a) used apheresis to reduce their risk of another cardiovascular event.
After four years of therapy the patients risk of another cardiovascular event was lowered by 94 percent. The University of Kansas Health System has the largest Lipid-apheresis program in North America.