Patients with fat metabolism disorders often suffer early from arteriosclerosis (also known as arterial calcification). The risk of a heart attack or stroke is often greatly increased. Most lipid metabolism disorders are associated with elevated LDL cholesterol levels. People with familial hypercholesterolemia, despite the appropriate diet or drug treatment, often are not able to sufficiently reduce their excessively high LDL cholesterol levels.
In these patients, lipid apheresis (also called LDL apheresis or lipoprotein apheresis) can lower the LDL cholesterol content. The blood is purified outside of the body from the unwanted LDL cholesterol and then returned to the patient.
Another risk factor for the development of arteriosclerosis is the so-called lipoprotein (a) or Lp (a). Lipoprotein (a) is nowadays recognized as an independent risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease.