Dr Amar Sethi, VP of Science and Technology at Pacific Biomarkers Inc is the lead author of a research study published in the July issue of the journal Clinical Chemistry. The study identifies the potential use of two diagnostic markers for ischemic heart disease.

Dr Sethi compared patients with ischemic heart disease and either high or low HDL-cholesterol levels with subjects without ischemic heart disease matched by HDL-C levels, age, and gender. The study found that the levels of preβ1-HDL, a nascent apoA-I particle, were twice as high in individuals with ischemic heart disease as compared to those with no heart disease in both the high and low HDL-C groups.

Dr Sethi reports that patients with elevated preβ1-HDL also exhibited low Lecithin:Cholesterol Acyltransferase (LCAT) activity. LCAT is an enzyme important for the packaging of cholesterol into HDL particles and thus for the successful removal of excess cholesterol from the body. The results show that a combined assessment of both preβ1-HDL levels and LCAT activity yield correct classification of patients with ischemic heart disease in more than 90% of cases, which is much higher than other conventional risk factors. Thus, preβ1-HDL concentrations and LCAT activity levels are potentially useful diagnostic markers for ischemic heart disease.

"These results indicate that the development of IHD may be more closely related to a combination of multiple factors in the reverse cholesterol transport pathway rather than one particular metric, such as HDL-C. Our study suggests that the measurement of preβ1-HDL and LCAT as additional tests could be useful in identifying a subset of patients that are at risk for IHD, which otherwise would not have been identified," said Dr Sethi.

Dr Sethi adds, "These same biomarkers are also important tools in the in-direct assessment of the HDL particle’s function as they provide crucial information about the overall efficiency of the HDL particle’s ability to remove cholesterol from the body. Direct measures of HDL functionality for clinical labs and pharmaceutical companies developing HDL raising drugs are still warranted and will hopefully be accomplished in the near future by more sophisticated high throughput biomarkers of HDL function from Pacific Biomarkers, Inc."

Ron Helm, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Pacific Biomarkers, said, "This research study represents a significant advance in our understanding of the potential use of diagnostic markers for ischemic heart disease. In so doing, it sheds light on a market opportunity that may enable the Company to extend its goals of providing the most comprehensive set of biomarker laboratory services to the industries we serve."

Source: Pacific Biomarkers