HDL Cholesterol Efflux Capacity: Cardiovascular Risk Factor and Potential Therapeutic Target

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49 Scopus citations


Low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels are associated with incident cardiovascular events; however, many therapies targeting increases in HDL-C have failed to show consistent clinical benefit. Thus, focus has recently shifted toward measuring high-density lipoprotein (HDL) function. HDL is the key mediator of reverse cholesterol transport, the process of cholesterol extraction from foam cells, and eventual excretion into the biliary system. Cholesterol efflux from peripheral macrophages to HDL particles has been associated with atherosclerosis in both animals and humans. We review the mechanism of cholesterol efflux and the emerging evidence on the association between cholesterol efflux capacity and cardiovascular disease in human studies. We also focus on the completed and ongoing trials of novel therapies targeting different aspects of HDL cholesterol efflux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent atherosclerosis reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular
  • Cholesterol efflux
  • HDL
  • Reverse cholesterol transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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