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Alternative Names Return to topType I hyperlipoproteinemia; Familial chylomicronemia
Definition Return to top
Familial lipoprotein lipase deficiency is a group of rare genetic disorders in which a person lacks a protein needed to break down fat molecules. The disorder causes large amounts of fat to build up in the blood.
Causes Return to top
Familial lipoprotein lipase deficiency is usually caused by a defective gene that is passed down through families.
Persons with this condition do not have a substance called lipoprotein lipase. Without this, the body cannot break down fat from digested food. Fat particles called chylomicrons build up in the blood.
Risk factors include family history of lipoprotein lipase deficiency.
The disorder affects about 1 out of 1,000,000 people. The condition is usually first seen during infancy or childhood.
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Signs of this condition include:
Blood tests will be done to check cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A special blood test may be done after you are given blood thinners through a vein. This test looks for lipoprotein lipase activity in your blood.
Genetic tests may be done, including one for apolipoprotein CII deficiency.
Treatment Return to top
Treatment aims to control the symptoms and blood triglyceride levels with a very low-fat diet. You should eat no more than 20 grams of fat per day to prevent the symptoms from coming back.
Twenty grams of fat is equal to one of the following:
The average American diet has a fat content of up to 45% of total calories. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and mineral supplements are recommended. Dietary counseling may be helpful for patients trying to stick to a strict diet and still get enough calories and nutrients.
Pancreatitis associated with lipoprotein lipase deficiency responds to treatments for that disorder.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Persons with this condition who follow a very low-fat diet may live into adulthood.
Possible Complications Return to top
Pancreatitis and recurrent episodes of abdominal pain may develop.
Xanthomas are not usually painful unless they are rubbed a lot.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider for screening if someone in your family has lipoprotein lipase deficiency. Genetic counseling is recommended for anyone with a family history of this disease.
Prevention Return to top
There is no known prevention for this rare, inherited disorder. Awareness of risks may allow early detection. Following a very low-fat diet can dramatically improve the symptoms of this disease.
References Return to top
Semenkovich CF. Disorders of lipid metabolism. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007: chap 217.Update Date: 5/3/2009 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.