MAY 30, 2014 03:00 PM PDT

Opportunities to simplify clinical lipid assessment

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  • Clinical Associate Professor, Dept of Biochemistry, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
      David Sullivan is a physician and chemical pathologist in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.  This includes conjoint appointment as Clinical Associate Professor, Central Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney. David has a long-term interest in lipid metabolism with particular emphasis on the gene environment interactions contributing to cardiovascular disease. He has been involved in the early use of many forms of lipid-lowering intervention. He remains a national leader of efforts to improve the detection and management of severe inherited dyslipidaemia, such as that seen in Familial Hypercholesterolaemia. David has experience in several international clinical posts, including World Health Organization (WHO) Fellowship at the MRC Lipoprotein Unit, Royal Postgraduate School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London and co-ordination of international clinical studies from the WHO reference lipid laboratory in Wageningen, Netherlands. In addition to his clinical activities in Australia, he has served on numerous clinical committees including the management committees of the LIPID and FIELD trials. Current research interests are focussed on biomarkers, post-prandial metabolism and novel therapies.


    Laboratory assessment of serum lipid and lipoprotein levels is essential for the management of the risk of atherothrombotic cardiovascular disease (CVD). Traditionally, this has involved the measurement of fasting levels of total and HDL cholesterol, as well as calculation or direct measurement of LDL cholesterol (LDL-C). Contemporaneous fasting triglyceride levels are required for calculation of LDL-C.

    Several recent developments have created uncertainty concerning the current and future use of LDL-C as the main focus of CVD management. This presentation will examine the clinical and therapeutic insights that have prompted a reduction in the emphasis on LDL-C. It will also explore alternatives that may enhance laboratory CVD risk assessment, some of which are relatively simple.

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