Statins can significantly reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (LDL‐C) and modestly raise or not alter high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (HDL‐C). However, their impact on HDL subfractions and LDL subfractions has less been examined. The objective of this study was to investigate the short‐term impact of low‐dose atorvastatin on HDL and LDL subfractions in humans. In this randomized study, data from 52 subjects were analyzed. Of them, 37 patients with atherosclerosis were randomized to atorvastatin 10mg/d (n=17) or 20 mg/d (n=20) treatment and 15 healthy subjects without therapy were used as controls for 8 weeks. The lipid profile and lipoprotein subfractions were determined by Lipoprint system at baseline and 8 weeks. Data suggested that atorvastatin treatment (10 mg/d and 20 mg/d) for 8 weeks significantly decreased LDL‐C levels and reduced the cholesterol concentration of all LDL subfractions accompanied by an increase of the mean LDL particle size. Although atorvastatin 10 mg/d treatment for 8 weeks had no any impact on HDL subfraction atorvastatin 20 mg/d treatment for 8 weeks significantly increased the cholesterol concentration of large HDL particles and decreased the cholesterol concentration of small HDL particles without changes of serum HDL‐C level in patients with atherosclerosis. Therefore, our results suggested that atorvastatin 20 mg/d treatment for 8 weeks could result in a favorable modification of HDL subfraction phenotype besides its impacts on cholesterol concentration of all LDL subfractions and mean LDL particle size. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.