Background: Dyslipidaemias is a recognized risk factor for atherosclerosis, however,
new evidence brought to light by trials investigating therapies to enhance HDLcholesterol
have suggested an increased atherosclerotic risk when HDL-C is high.
Results: Several studies highlight the central role in atherosclerotic disease of dysfunctional
lipoproteins; oxidised LDL-cholesterol is an important feature, according to “oxidation hypothesis”,
of atherosclerotic lesion, however, there is today a growing interest for dysfunctional
HDL-cholesterol. The target of our paper is to review the functions of modified and
dysfunctional lipoproteins in atherogenesis.
Conclusion: Taking into account the central role recognized to dysfunctional lipoproteins,
measurements of functional features of lipoproteins, instead of conventional routine serum
evaluation of lipoproteins, could offer a valid contribution in experimental studies as in clinical
practice to stratify atherosclerotic risk.