Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with dyslipidemia, characterized by increased levels of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLPs), including very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), with no change or a reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. Serum triglycerides and IDL are risk factors for vascular disease in dialysis patients, whereas LDL is not. The principal cause of the increase in TRLPs is decreased removal, not increased synthesis. The clearance defect arises from a reduction in specific lipoprotein receptors, decreases in the activity of lipases, and increased levels of low-molecular weight apolipoproteins that inhibit the interaction between TRLPs and both the receptors and the lipases that catabolize them. VLDL from dialysis patients is structurally abnormal and is not metabolized at a normal rate by lipoprotein lipase (LPL).
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