Treatment options for severe hypertriglyceridemia (SHTG): the role of apheresis

Clin Res Cardiol Suppl. 2012 Jun;7(Suppl 1):31-5. doi: 10.1007/s11789-012-0042-x.


Hypertriglyceridemia is associated with a number of severe diseases such as acute pancreatitis and coronary artery disease. In severe hypertriglyceridemia (SHTG, triglycerides > 1,000 mg/dL), rapid lowering of plasma triglycerides (TG) has to be achieved. Treatment regimes include nutritional intervention, the use of antihyperlipidemic drugs, and therapeutic apheresis. Apheretic treatment is indicated in medical emergencies such as hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis. Reviewing the current literature, plasmapheresis appears to be a safe and useful therapeutic tool in patients suffering from SHTG. Apheretic treatment is able to remove the causative agent for pancreatic inflammation. Data suggests that the use of apheresis should be performed as early as possible in order to achieve best results. The use of plasmapheresis, however, is limited due to the rather high costs and the limited availability of the procedure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Component Removal / adverse effects
  • Blood Component Removal / economics
  • Blood Component Removal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / complications
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / physiopathology
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / therapy*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Pancreatitis / etiology
  • Pancreatitis / therapy
  • Plasmapheresis / economics
  • Plasmapheresis / methods
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Triglycerides