Plasma Ceramides: Predicting Cardiovascular Risk


Ceramides are a class of lipids with strong physiological links to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular-disease processes. Unlike cholesterol, which is fairly inert, ceramides are biologically active and encourage inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and lipoprotein aggregation. Data will be discussed from several recent studies, which suggest that plasma concentrations of ceramides are highly predictive of disease even among individuals with low levels (<100 mg/dL) of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Finally, recent findings on the impact of statins and PCSK9-inhibitor therapeutics on ceramide concentrations will be presented.



Image of Stephen Kopecky, M.D.Stephen Kopecky, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
Cardiologist, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases
Mayo Clinic

Image of Jeffrey Meeusen, Ph.D.Jeffrey Meeusen, Ph.D.
Instructor in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
Co-Director, Cardiovascular Laboratory Medicine
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Mayo Clinic


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Explain what ceramides are and how they were discovered.
  • Recall the evidence that exists for their utility.
  • Identify who should be tested.
  • Describe what should be done with results.

Intended Audience

This webinar is designed for cardiologists, preventive cardiologists, internal medicine and primary care providers, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

Level of instruction


Faculty Disclosure

As a provider accredited by ACCME, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science (Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development) must ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in its educational activities. Course director(s), planning committee, faculty, and all others who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest related to the subject matter of the educational activity. Safeguards against commercial bias have been put in place. Faculty members also will disclose any off-label and/or investigational use of pharmaceuticals or instruments discussed in their presentations. Disclosure of this information will be published in course materials so those participants in the activity may formulate their own judgments regarding the presentations.

National Physician Payment Transparency Program

Mayo Medical Laboratories is not an applicable manufacturer or applicable group purchasing organization (GPO). (GPOs, per the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and this program do not trigger any reporting requirements pursuant to Open Payments [Sunshine Act] legislation.)

Note: No credit is offered for this Specialty Testing Webinar.

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This post was developed by our Education and Technical Publications Team.