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Quantimetrix Shows that All HDL Subfractions May Not Protect Against Heart Disease

June 24, 2005

Jennifer Morais, Ph.D, Will Present Findings at AACC Poster Session

Redondo Beach, Calif. – High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) have long been regarded as the medical knights in shining armor, gallantly protecting human hearts against that dreaded invader, coronary heart disease (CHD). Although not scientifically proven, theory suggests that they accomplish this noble feat by carrying cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver for disposal. However, recent studies suggest that different HDL subclasses are associated with CHD prevalence, and that measurement of these subclasses could be a better indicator of CHD than measurement of total HDL alone. Nehemias Muniz and Jennifer Morais, Ph.D., two Quantimetrix Corp. scientists, demonstrate in their recent study, Differences in HDL Subfraction Distribution in Normolipidemic Versus Dyslipidemic Individuals, that HDL subclasses are not created equally. In fact, some HDL subfractions may actually have the potential of contributing to heart disease. Dr. Morais will present these findings at the AACC International Congress of Clinical Chemistry in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Traditionally, HDL has been separated into two major subclasses (HDL-2 and HDL-3), but depending on the separation method used, 10 subfractions have been reported. The Lipoprint® HDL System from Quantimetrix, a new medical device awaiting 510(k) FDA clearance, was used in the study. The Lipoprint test can resolve up to 10 subfractions of HDL, and these are grouped into three main subclasses: HDL 1-3 represent the Large HDL, HDL 4-7 represent the Intermediate, and the HDL 8-10 represent the Small HDL. Studies have identified the large HDL subclass, commonly referred to as HDL-2, as the most protective of the arteries, or truly the “good” HDL cholesterol.

The small, dense HDL, on the other hand, (HDL 8-10) may indicate increased CHD risk. The study was conducted on 319 participants (159 males and 160 females, ages 18-87). Out of that number, 123 participants were identified as normal using the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP, ATP III) guidelines for total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglyceride readings. Significant differences in the distribution of the various HDL subfractions were observed between normal participants and those that did not meet the normal criteria according to NCEP.

“The Lipoprint HDL System provides another laboratory tool which may aid in determining risk factors for heart disease, as supported by the findings of this study,” says Nehemias Muniz, who pioneered the Lipoprint LDL System. Introduced in 2002, the Lipoprint LDL System is a device that identifies and measures the small LDL subfractions associated with increased risk of CHD. Mr. Muniz, who conducted the study with Dr. Morais, adds: “The traditional lipid profile presently used for CHD risk evaluation lacks the ability to recognize possible risks such as very small dense LDL and HDL that can only be identified by tests such as the Lipoprint LDL and HDL.”

After FDA approval – expected later this year – the Lipoprint HDL System can be used in conjunction with the Lipoprint LDL System for advanced assessment of heart disease risk.

Quantimetrix Corporation develops, manufactures, and distributes clinical diagnostic products worldwide. Founded in 1974, the Redondo Beach, Calif., privately held company’s substantial product list includes urinalysis controls, general and specialty chemistry controls, electrophoresis systems, serum chemistries, diagnostic assays and custom controls. For more information, visit www.4qc.com or call 800-624-8380.