Lower is better: ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibition join the mainstream of lipid‑lowering therapy

  • Cezary Wójcik 1 Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, USA 2 Diplomate, American Board of Clinical Lipidology
Keywords: Dyslipidemia, PCSK9 inhibitors, Ezetimibe, LDL, Clinical lipidology


The focus of 2013 cholesterol guidelines to prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) released by American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) is the administration of high intensity statin therapy to specific four groups of patients, which were found to benefit the most from such therapy. They no longer promote achieving specific LDL-C goals with a combination therapy involving statins and other drugs, as advocated by the former ATP-III guidelines as well as current guidelines of European Atherosclerosis Society, International Atherosclerosis Society or National Lipid Association. Such approach has been dictated by the strict reliance on randomized controlled trials as the only acceptable level of evidence. However, since publication of the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines, cardiovascular benefits of ezetimibe added to statin therapy have been established. Moreover, the advent of PCSK9 inhibitors, providing a powerful supplement and/or alternative to statin therapy, further complicates the therapeutic horizon in dyslipdiemias. It is very likely that a new set of ACC/AHA guidelines will be published in 2016, with a return of specific LDL-C and Non-HDL-C goals of therapy as well as integration of drugs other than statins. As the treatment of dyslipidemias becomes more complex, the need for the subspecialty of clinical lipidology to be officially recognized becomes more evident.


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