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Chylomicronemia and the Chylomicronemia Syndrome: A Practical Approach to Management

  • David Alexander Leaf
    Correspondence
    Requests for reprints should be addressed to David Alexander Leaf, MD, MPH, Division of General Internal Medicine, 111G, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Wilshire and Sawtelle Blvds, Los Angeles, CA 90073.
    Affiliations
    Departments of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine and Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California.
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      Abstract

      Chylomicronemia is present when triglyceride levels exceed 1000 mg/dL. Chylomicronemia, when accompanied by eruptive xanthoma, lipemia retinalis, or abdominal symptoms, is referred to as the “chylomicronemia syndrome” and can cause acute pancreatitis. Treatment aimed at reducing triglyceride levels includes lifestyle modifications to promote weight loss with diet and physical activity coupled with medications, including fibrates, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and nicotinic acid. Chylomicronemic patients with acute pancreatitis require insulinization in an inpatient setting to abolish chylomicronemia.

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