Cholestyramine and ileal by-pass in the treatment of familial hypercholesterolaemia

Eur J Clin Invest. 1977 Dec;7(6):509-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.1977.tb01644.x.


A comparison was made of the therapeutic effectiveness of cholestyramine and an ileal by-pass operation as hypocholesterolaemic measures in thirteen patients with familial xanthomatotic type II hypercholesterolaemia. Serum cholesterol and faecal steroids were measured before and at the end of a 10 day course of cholestyramine (32 g/day), and subsequently after an ileal by-pass operation. The mean decrease in serum cholesterol caused by cholestyramine (-17%) was significantly less than that caused by the surgical procedure (-33%). The increase in faecal steroid excretion, mainly as bile acids, was lower with cholestyramine (1.261 g/day) than after the ileal exclusion (2.176 g/day) and a positive correlation was found between the decrease in serum cholesterol and the increase in the faecal elimination of steroids of cholesterol origin. However, even though the increase in faecal steroids with cholestyramine was positively correlated with that resulting from ileal by-pass, the correlation between the corresponding changes in serum cholesterol level was not significant. The findings indicate that ileal by-pass decreases serum cholesterol and increases faecal elimination of cholesterol more effectively than cholestyramine, and that the decrease in the serum cholesterol level induced by ileal exclusion is not consistently predictable by the serum cholesterol response to the preceding cholestyramine treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Child
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholestyramine Resin / therapeutic use*
  • Feces / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / metabolism
  • Hypercholesterolemia / therapy*
  • Hyperlipidemias / genetics*
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism
  • Hyperlipidemias / therapy*
  • Ileum / surgery*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Steroids / metabolism


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Steroids
  • Cholestyramine Resin
  • Cholesterol