Effects of pravastatin and cholestyramine on products of the mevalonate pathway in familial hypercholesterolemia

P. G. Elmberger, A. Kalen, E. Lund, E. Reihner, M. Eriksson, Lars Berglund, B. Angelin, G. Dallner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (n = 12) were treated either with pravastatin, a specific inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, or cholestyramine, followed by a period of combined treatment with both drugs. Initially, these patients had increased serum levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (8.77 ± 0.48 mmol/l; SEM), lathosterol (5.32 ± 0.60 mg/l), and ubiquinone (0.76 ± 0.09 mg/l), while the serum dolichol concentration was in the normal range. Cholestyramine treatment (n = 6) decreased the levels of LDL cholesterol (-32%) and increased lathosterol (+125%), but did not change dolichol or ubiquinone levels in a significant manner. Pravastatin treatment (n = 6) decreased LDL cholesterol (-27%), lathosterol (-46%), and ubiquinone (-29%). In this case, the amount of dolichol in serum also showed a small but statistically insignificant decrease (-16%) after 12 weeks of treatment. Combined treatment with cholestyramine and pravastatin (n = 6) resulted in changes that were similar to, but less pronounced than, those observed during pravastatin treatment alone. In no case was the ratio between ubiquinone and LDL cholesterol reduced. Possible effects on hepatic cholesterol, ubiquinone, and dolichol concentrations were studied in untreated (n = 2), cholestyramine-treated (n = 2), and pravastatin-treated (n = 4) gallstone patients and no consistent changes could be observed. The results indicate that treatment with pravastatin in familial hypercholesterolemia decreases serum ubiquinone levels in proportion to the reduction in LDL cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-940
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • cholesterol
  • dolichol
  • lathosterol
  • lipoproteins
  • liver biopsy
  • ubiquinone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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