Original Article| Volume 11, ISSUE 3, P674-681, May 2017

Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 inhibition in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia: Initial clinical experience

Published:March 07, 2017DOI:


      • We assessed FH patients using PCSK9 inhibitors in a clinical setting.
      • LDL-c decrease of PCSK9 inhibitors was comparable to clinical trials.
      • However, our patients showed more side effects compared with clinical trials.
      • This emphasizes the need to monitor the long-term side effects of PCSK9 inhibitors.


      Despite optimal lipid-lowering therapy, a minority of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) reach low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) target goals. In randomized trials, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors led to impressive LDL-c reductions and a favorable safety profile. However, data about the efficacy and safety outside clinical trials are not available yet.


      The purpose of the study is to describe efficacy and side effects of PCSK9 inhibitors in FH patients in clinical practice.


      Registry of all consecutive FH patients who started with a PCSK9 inhibitor at a lipid clinic of a university hospital.


      We analyzed 83 FH patients (79 heterozygous FH [heFH]—65 with a genetically confirmed heFH and 14 with clinical heFH—and 4 homozygous FH [hoFH]), with a mean age of 55.1 ± 11.6 years. Treatment with a PCSK9 inhibitor resulted in an additional reduction of 55% ± 21% in mean LDL-c levels. Patients with heFH had more LDL-c decrease than those with hoFH (56% vs 38%). Patients using ezetimibe monotherapy because of statin intolerance (n = 24, 29%) had less LDL-c decrease compared with patients who concurrently used statin therapy (47% and 58%, P = .03). Side effects of PCSK9 inhibitors were reported by 32 patients (39%). Flu-like symptoms (n = 12) and injection site reactions (n = 11) were most frequent. Seven patients (8%) discontinued treatment, 5 because of side effects and 2 because of nonresponse.


      Our initial experience of PCSK9 inhibition in FH patients in a clinical setting showed comparable reduction in LDL-c levels but more side effects compared with clinical trials.


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