Lecithin: Cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) is a glycoprotein enzyme involves in the esterification of plasma cholesterol to form cholesteryl ester and is important in the maturation of high density lipoprotein. Lipid metabolism in sickle cell anaemia patients may be affected. The objective of this study was to determine the activities of serum lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase, lipoprotein lipase, lipids and lipoprotein levels in sickle cell anaemia patients in a steady state. The study population consisted of 144 confirmed sickle cell disease patients; 68 males aged 22.2 ± 3.8 years and 76 females aged 21.0 ± 3.0 years. Fifty age matched males; 25 sickle cell trait (HbAS), 25 normal haemoglobin (HbAA) and fifty females; 25 HbAS and 25 HbAA were used as controls. Statistically significant decrease in LCAT and LPL activities (p < 0.001) were observed in sickle cell anaemia patients compared with HbAS and HbAA controls in both sexes. Decrease levels of cholesterol (p < 0.001) and HDL cholesterol (p < 0.001) were also observed in sickle cell anaemia patients. The activities of lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase and lipoprotein lipase were lower in subjects with sickle cell anaemia than sickle cell trait and normal haemoglobin. This may contribute to the changes observed in lipid metabolism in sickle cell anaemia. The exact cause is not known but appears to be multifactorial.
Key words: Sickle cell disease, Lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase, lipoprotein lipase, Lipoproteins.
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