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Hypertriglyceridaemia in adolescents may have serious complications

M Korf, E W Zöllner, G E A Solomon, A E Zemlin, A D Marais

Abstract


Acute pancreatitis is an often-overlooked cause of acute abdominal pain in children and adolescents. Severe hypertriglyceridaemia is an important cause of recurrent acute pancreatitis. Monogenic causes of hypertriglyceridaemia, such as familial chylomicronaemia caused by lipoprotein lipase deficiency, are more frequently encountered in children and adolescents, but remain rare. Polygenic hypertriglyceridaemia is more common, but may require a precipitant before manifesting. With the global increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes, secondary causes of hypertriglyceridaemia in children and adolescents are increasing. We report two cases of severe hypertriglyceridaemia and pancreatitis in adolescent females. Hypertriglyceridaemia improved markedly with restriction of dietary fat. An inhibitor to lipoprotein lipase was found to be the cause in one patient, while in the other limited genetic investigation excluded chylomicronaemia owing to deficiency of lipoprotein lipase, its activators and processing proteins.

Authors' affiliations

M Korf, Division of Chemical Pathology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

E W Zöllner, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

G E A Solomon, Division of Chemical Pathology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

A E Zemlin, Division of Chemical Pathology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

A D Marais, Division of Chemical Pathology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Hypertriglyceriadaemia; Pancreatitis; Adolescent medicine

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2022;112(5):307-312.

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-04-29
Date published: 2022-04-29

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