Familial chylomicronemia syndrome: A rare but devastating autosomal recessive disorder characterized by refractory hypertriglyceridemia and recurrent pancreatitis


Division of Cardiology, Advocate Heart Institute at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital


Familial Chylomicronemia Syndrome (FCS) is a rare autosomal recessive lipid disorder characterized by severe hypertriglyceridemia and recurrent pancreatitis. Because the disorder is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed and because traditional triglyceride lowering medications are often ineffective, the disease leads to a tremendous physical, social and emotional burden on afflicted patients and their caretakers. Mutations in 5 different genes have been implicated in the development of FCS, all of which have an effect on the activity of lipoprotein lipase. Lipoprotein lipase(LPL) is responsible for removing triglycerides from chylomicrons and other triglyceride rich lipoproteins in the circulation, breaking them down into free fatty acids for use as energy. Patients with FCS have loss of function of their LPL leading to severely elevated chylomicrons in the circulation and hence, severe hypertriglyceridemia. The principle treatment for FCS is to reduce chylomicron formation in the gut by placing the patient on an extremely low fat diet. New medications in development hold significant promise for improving the quality of life for FCS patients.

Document Type


PubMed ID




Link to Full Text