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Hypertriglyceridaemia: an update


Triglycerides (TGs) form part of the standard lipid profile. Elevations in TGs are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk through triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particles found as part of non-HDL cholesterol. Many elevations of TGs are secondary to other causes, but primary hypertriglyceridaemia syndromes need to be identified. The genetic causes of hypertriglyceridaemia range from familial combined hyperlipidaemia through the autosomal recessive remnant hyperlipidaemia (related to apolipoprotein E variants) and familial chylomicronaemia syndromes. Patients with primary hypertriglyceridaemia >10 mmol/L require characterisation and specific intervention. Simple lipid profiles do not provide adequate information for detailed diagnosis and additional assays such as apolipoprotein (apo)B100, apoE genotype and next-generation sequencing may be useful. Management of raised TGs includes optimising diet, reducing exacerbating factors as well as lipid-lowering medications such as statins, fibrates, niacin and omega-3 fatty acids. Novel medications for orphan disease indications such as familial chylomicronaemia syndrome include volanesorsen, evinacumab and other antisense therapeutics. Extreme hypertriglyceridaemia syndromes, especially chylomicronaemia syndromes, which can be exposed by pregnancy or other factors are a medical emergency and require admission and specialist management sometimes including plasma exchange.

  • chemistry, clinical
  • diagnostic techniques and procedures
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • lipids
  • lipoproteins

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