Last reviewed: 25 Sep 2021
Last updated: 03 Oct 2018



History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • lipaemia retinalis
  • eruptive xanthoma

Other diagnostic factors

  • obesity/overweight
  • diabetes
  • coronary artery disease
  • angina/claudication
  • abdominal pain and other features of pancreatitis

Risk factors

  • family history of hyperlipidaemia
  • family history of diabetes
  • overweight/obese patients
  • high-saturated-fat diet
  • high-carbohydrate diet
  • insulin resistance
  • liver disease
  • hypothyroidism
  • renal disease
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • HIV infection
  • cystic fibrosis
  • medications
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • acute spinal cord injury
  • inflammatory/immune disorders
  • anorexia nervosa
  • organ transplant

Diagnostic investigations

Investigations to consider

  • thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • fasting plasma glucose
  • urea, creatinine
  • serum albumin
  • liver function tests
  • serum protein electrophoresis
  • computed tomography abdomen

Treatment algorithm



David Alexander Leaf, MD, MPH

Professor of Medicine

Playa Vista Medical Center

Los Angeles



DAL is an author of several references cited in this monograph.

Peer reviewers

Mahi Lakshmi Ashwath, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Division of Cardiology

Heart and Vascular Center

Metro Health Medical Center

Case Western Reserve University




MLA declares that he has no competing interests.

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