About 40 lipid experts from diverse subspecialties comprising cardiology, clinical pharmacology, endocrinology and nephrology met at the 90th Annual Congress of the German Cardiac Society (DGK) on April 3rd, 2024 at the Cholesterol Round Table chaired by Professor Dr. Oliver Weingärtner (Jena) and Professor Dr. Harm Wienbergen (Bremen). The aim of this meeting was to provide an update on novel and ongoing clinical trials in lipidology across Germany to generate mutual exchange of expertise and find novel partners for those trials.

Dr. Veronika Sanin (Munich) presented VRONI – a pilot screening program in children aged 5-6 years for Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). The program is supported by the Deutsche Herzstiftung.  Dr. Sanin pointed out that the study will be rolled out across Germany in the near future with the aim to identify and treat patients with FH early, reduce cholesterol life years and cardiovascular events in this high-risk patient population. All experts agreed that such an initiative in Germany was highly overdue.

PD Dr. Roland Klingenberg (Bad Nauheim) presented details on the projected real-world trial COBALT evaluating the effect of adding bempedoic acid to an existing lipid-lowering regimen consisting of a statin and ezetimibe with respect to attaining the LDL-C goal of < 55 mg/dL in very-high risk individuals and potentially spare PCSK9-inhibitor therapy. This multi-center, prospective trial was discussed intensively and several experts in the audience were interested in participating as additional study sites across Germany.

Professor Dr. Dr. rer nat. Dieter Lütjohann (Bonn) presented the study design and aims of the DCM (Determine Cholesterol Metabolism) trial to determine details in cholesterol metabolism regarding cholesterol absorption and synthesis. Lütjohann presented data on individual differences in cholesterol metabolism and their effect on the efficacy of LDL-C lowering of different lipid-lowering drugs. The results of this multi-center, prospective trial are supposed to provide important data to optimize and individualize lipid-lowering treatments. Many of the experts in the audience agreed that such a trial is necessary and were also interested in participating.

Professor Dr. Weingärtner (Jena) presented the Lipid-Snap-Shot project. The aim of this project is to evaluate differences in hypercholesterolemia treatment and LDL-C values in ASCVD-patients documented by office-based cardiologists and general practitioners. This large-scale study includes more than 80.000 ASCVD-patients which will be followed-up in three snapshots in the year 2023, 2024 and 2025. According to Weingärtner the study is supposed to reveal treatment gaps which are mainly due to different treatment strategies in Germany – “treat-to-target” as supported by cardiologists and “fire-and forget” as currently propagated by general physicians.

The session was closed by a debate on whether attainment of LDL-C levels in very-high risk patients is feasible – pro (Professor Dr. Oliver Weingärtner, Jena) and contra (Dr. Anselm Gitt, Ludwigshafen).

Concluding the session Professor Harm Wienbergen congratulated all participants to an interested and vibrant discussion and expressed the wish to continue in this format during upcoming meetings of the German Cardiac Society. Everybody agreed.