Background: The previously published ODYSSEY ESCAPE trial demonstrated a significant reduction in the use of lipoprotein apheresis for heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) patients when placed on alirocumab 150 mg every 2 weeks. In patients with HeFH who have consistently elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) despite maximally tolerated statin therapy, current lipid guidelines recommend apheresis. Although apheresis reduces LDL-C levels by 50%–75%, it must be repeated, as frequently as every 1–2 weeks. Objective: To assess clinical experience with apheresis and alirocumab for patients in a real-world practice setting. Methods: This retrospective review included patients from 5 apheresis centers who were treated with apheresis and had started alirocumab therapy. In addition to LDL-C levels, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), non-HDL-C, triglycerides, and particle numbers were evaluated if data were available. Results: Eleven of the 25 (44%) patients discontinued apheresis completely after initiation of alirocumab therapy, having achieved LDL-C <70 mg/dL or >50% reduction from baseline levels. Among the 14 patients who remained on apheresis, seven decreased the frequency of apheresis sessions. No significant safety problems were reported. Conclusion: Alirocumab lowered LDL-C levels by an average of 55.5% in patients receiving apheresis for elevated LDL-C. Seventy-two percent of patients on alirocumab therapy discontinued or reduced the frequency of apheresis treatment. However, some patients continued to require apheresis due to elevated lipoprotein(a), extremely elevated LDL-C, or if alirocumab therapy was discontinued due to less than anticipated LDL-C reduction.
- ODYSSEY ESCAPE
- PCSK9 inhibitor