Section 10
Chapter 9,674

Treatment of primary chylomicronemia due to familial hypertriglyceridemia by omega-3 fatty acids

Richter, W.O.; Jacob, B.G.; Ritter, M.M.; Schwandt, P.

Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental 41(10): 1100-1105


ISSN/ISBN: 0026-0495
PMID: 1406295
Accession: 009673709

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Primary familial forms of chylomicronemia can lead to acute life-threatening complications, especially acute pancreatitis. The main aim of therapy is to avoid this so-called chylomicronemia syndrome. In 12 patients with primary chylomicronemia due to familial hypertriglyceridemia, the addition of 2.16 g omega-3 fatty acids over 4 weeks and 4.32 g for 8 weeks resulted in a decrease of serum triglyceride levels from 1,624 +- 333 to 894 +- 241 mg/dL after 12 weeks. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the chylomicron fraction were reduced concomitantly, the apolipoprotein B-100/B-48 ratio increased, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) triglycerides, VLDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels decreased, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol showed a tendency to increase, but this finding did not reach significance. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels remained unchanged, as did the levels of apolipoproteins A-I, A-II, and E, and lipoprotein(a). Apolipoprotein B levels decreased significantly. The decreases of triglycerides levels to still-elevated concentrations was accompanied by a substantial decrease in plasma and whole-blood viscosity and erythrocyte aggregation, which reached normal values. As in chylomicronemia, complications usually occur at triglycerides levels higher than 1,500 mg/dL; patients can still profit from treatment with omega-3 fatty acids, even though triglyceride levels are still substantially elevated. No clinically relevant side effects occurred, with the exception of the manifestation of diabetes mellitus in one patients, which could be reversed after discontinuation of treatment.

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