Health Questions and Answers

Question: What is the chylomicronemia syndrome?


The chylomicronemia syndrome typically occurs when triglyceride levels are > 1000 mg/dl. Patients develop severe triglyceride elevations when the enzyme lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which is responsible for triglyceride hydrolysis of chylomicrons and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), becomes saturated and is no longer able to clear chylomicrons from the circulation. When the LPL enzyme becomes saturated, chylomicrons accumulate, and the patient’s serum becomes lipemic. Severe chylomicronemia typically develops in patients with a combined genetic and acquired cause of hypertriglyceridemia. 

Reference: Basa ALP, Afsharkharaghan H (Zollo A, ed): Endocrinology in Medical Secrets, 3rd ed. 2001.

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