In the past year, there have been several important developments in cardiology, particularly in the treatment of hyperlipidemia and in the development and refinement of a number of therapeutic procedures.
The use of drugs provides promise in the treatment of hyperlipidemia. It has been established that a pharmacologically induced reduction in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels results in a significant reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. However, the currently available cholesterol-reducing agents have numerous side effects that frequently restrict their use. In addition, some have limited efficacy. A new drug, lovastatin, may not have these limitations and therefore promises to play a major role in the treatment of patients with hypercholesterolemia.1 This drug represents a new class of compounds that prevent the intracellular synthesis of cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme HMG CoA reductase. In the liver, decreased intracellular cholesterol concentrations result in up-regulation of the