BACKGROUND: The incidental finding of severe hypertriglyceridemia (HyperTG) in a child may suggest the diagnosis of familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS), a recessive disorder of the intravascular hydrolysis of triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins. FCS may be due to pathogenic variants in lipoprotein lipase (LPL), as well as in other proteins, such as apolipoprotein C-II and apolipoprotein A-V (activators of LPL), GPIHBP1 (the molecular platform required for LPL activity on endothelial surface) and LMF1 (a factor required for intracellular formation of active LPL).
OBJECTIVE: Molecular characterization of 5 subjects in whom HyperTG was an incidental finding during infancy/childhood.
METHODS: We performed the parallel sequencing of 20 plasma TG-related genes.
RESULTS: Three children with severe HyperTG were found to be compound heterozygous for rare pathogenic LPL variants (2 nonsense, 3 missense, and 1 splicing variant). Another child was found to be homozygous for a nonsense variant of APOA5, which was also found in homozygous state in his father with longstanding HyperTG. The fifth patient with a less severe HyperTG was found to be heterozygous for a frameshift variant in LIPC resulting in a truncated Hepatic Lipase. In addition, 1 of the patients with LPL deficiency and the patient with APOA-V deficiency were also heterozygous carriers of a pathogenic variant in LIPC and LPL gene, respectively, whereas the patient with LIPC variant was also a carrier of a rare APOB missense variant.
CONCLUSIONS: Targeted parallel sequencing of TG-related genes is recommended to define the molecular defect in children presenting with an incidental finding of HyperTG.