Triglyceride and cholesterol metabolism in primary hypertriglyceridemia

U. Beil, Scott M Grundy, J. R. Crouse, L. Zech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


To determine mechanisms of elevated plasma triglycerides (TG) in patients with primary hypertriglyceridemias, simultaneous studies were carried out on kinetics of very low density lipoprotein-triglycerides (VLDL-TG) and synthesis of cholesterol and bile acids. Sixteen hypertriglyceridemic patients with familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL) and 12 patients with poorly classified, primary hypertriglyceridemia were studied, and their results were compared to a series of normal and obese subjects previously studied in our laboratory. The mean value for transport (synthesis) of VLDL-TG in patients with FCHL was about twice normal. Although the upper normal synthesis rates overlapped with transport rates of some patients with FCHL, it appeared that the major cause of hypertriglyceridemia in FCHL was an elevated production of VLDL-TG. However, the height of the plasma TG in FCHL patients also was influenced by individual clearance capacities for VLDL-TG, and fractional clearance rates in several seemed particularly low. Synthesis rates for cholesterol and/or bile acids were high in several patients with FCHL, suggesting simultaneous overproduction of VLDL-TG and sterois; however, increased synthesis of both was not observed in all the patients. Most patients with poorly classified hypertriglyceridemia had overproduction of VLDL-TG, but an apparent reduction in clearance was common. In these patients, increased synthesis of cholesterol and sterols; acids was infrequent. Our results indicate that abnormally high production of VLDL-TG seemed to be the major factor in causing primary hypertriglyceridemia, but that clearance capacity can play an important role in determining the severity of the TG elevation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-57
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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