Severe Hypertriglyceridemia in Pregnancy

Department of Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5K8.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 6.21). 05/2012; 97(8):2589-96. DOI: 10.1210/jc.2012-1250
Source: PubMed


Pregnancy-related hypertriglyceridemia is rare, but it can be life threatening in some patients with genetic susceptibility. Complications can include acute pancreatitis, hyperviscosity syndrome, and possibly preeclampsia. We present a case of successful management of recurrent gestational chylomicronemia due to compound heterozygous mutations in the LPL gene.
To outline advances in clinical management of this condition, we searched English language publications in PubMed, EMBASE, and ISI Web of Science (search terms: pregnancy, pregnancy complications, pregnan*, hyperlipoproteinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, chylomicrons, chylomicronemia) and reference lists of relevant published articles from 2002 to 2011. We identified eight case reports.
Interventions reported in those cases are reviewed including: 1) low-fat diet; 2) nutritional supplements; 3) oral prescription medications; 4) parenteral heparin; 5) insulin infusion in the context of hyperglycemia; and 6) therapeutic plasma exchange.
Overall, our recommendations are to monitor for pregnancy-related hypertriglyceridemia in those with prepregnancy fasting triglyceride level greater than 4 mmol/liter and to institute therapy when triglyceride level increases to more than 10 mmol/liter. Therapy should include a multidisciplinary team to address dietary fat restriction, appropriate supplements, and possible medications when needed. Admission to hospital is recommended in severe cases. We conclude that complications are preventable with appropriate and timely intervention.

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