Scientific article
Open access

The Effect of PCSK9 (Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9) Inhibition on the Risk of Venous Thromboembolism

Published inCirculation, vol. 141, no. 20, p. 1600-1607
Publication date2020-05-19
First online date2020-03-29

Background: The relationship between cholesterol levels and risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is uncertain. We set out to determine the effect of PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) inhibition on the risk of VTE, explore potential mechanisms, and examine the efficacy in subgroups with clinically and genetically defined risk.

Methods: We performed a post hoc analysis of the FOURIER trial (Further Cardiovascular Outcomes Research With PCSK9 Inhibition in Subjects With Elevated Risk) testing whether evolocumab reduces the risk of VTE events (deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism). Data from FOURIER and ODYSSEY OUTCOMES (Evaluation of Cardiovascular Outcomes After an Acute Coronary Syndrome During Treatment with Alirocumab) were then combined in a meta-analysis to assess the class effect of PCSK9 inhibition on the risk of VTE. We also analyzed baseline lipids in FOURIER to investigate potential mechanisms explaining the reduction in VTE with evolocumab. Last, an exploratory genetic analysis was performed in FOURIER to determine whether a VTE polygenic risk score could identify high-risk patients who would derive the greatest VTE reduction from evolocumab.

Results: In FOURIER, the hazard ratio (HR) for VTE with evolocumab was 0.71 (95% CI, 0.50-1.00; P=0.05), with no effect in the 1st year (HR, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.57-1.62]) but a 46% reduction (HR, 0.54 [95% CI, 0.33-0.88]; P=0.014) beyond 1 year. A meta-analysis of FOURIER and ODYSSEY OUTCOMES demonstrated a 31% relative risk reduction in VTE with PCSK9 inhibition (HR, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.53-0.90]; P=0.007). There was no relation between baseline low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and magnitude of VTE risk reduction. In contrast, in patients with higher baseline lipoprotein(a) (Lp[a]) levels, evolocumab reduced Lp(a) by 33 nmol/L and risk of VTE by 48% (HR, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.30-0.89]; P=0.017), whereas, in patients with lower baseline Lp(a) levels, evolocumab reduced Lp(a) by only 7 nmol/L and had no effect on VTE risk (Pinteraction 0.087 for HR; Pheterogeneity 0.037 for absolute risk reduction). Modeled as a continuous variable, there was a significant interaction between baseline Lp(a) concentration and magnitude of VTE risk reduction (Pinteraction=0.04). A polygenic risk score identified patients who were at >2-fold increased risk for VTE and who derived greater relative (Pinteraction=0.04) and absolute VTE reduction (Pheterogeneity=0.009) in comparison with those without high genetic risk.

Conclusions: PCSK9 inhibition significantly reduces the risk of VTE. Lp(a) reduction may be an important mediator of this effect, a finding of particular interest given the ongoing development of potent Lp(a) inhibitors.

  • PCSK9 protein, human
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Evolocumab
  • Numbers needed to treat
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / diagnosis
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lipoprotein(a) / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • PCSK9 Inhibitors
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / prevention & control
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Thromboembolism / diagnosis
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism / prevention & control
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnosis
  • Venous Thrombosis / epidemiology
  • Venous Thrombosis / prevention & control
Citation (ISO format)
MARSTON, Nicholas A et al. The Effect of PCSK9 (Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9) Inhibition on the Risk of Venous Thromboembolism. In: Circulation, 2020, vol. 141, n° 20, p. 1600–1607. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.046397
Main files (2)
Article (Accepted version)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0009-7322

Technical informations

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