Pharmacological treatment options for severe hypertriglyceridemia and familial chylomicronemia syndrome

Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2018 Jun;11(6):589-598. doi: 10.1080/17512433.2018.1480368. Epub 2018 Jun 11.


A spectrum of disorders, ranging from rare severe cases of homozygous null lipoprotein lipase deficiency (LPLD)-familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) to heterozygous missense LPLD or polygenic causes, result in hypertriglyceridemia and pancreatitis. The effects of mutations are exacerbated by environmental factors such as diet, pregnancy, and insulin resistance. Areas covered: In this review, authors discuss chronic treatment of FCS by ultra-low fat diets allied with the use of fibrates, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, statins, and insulin-sensitizing therapies depending on the extent of residual lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity; novel therapies in development target triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoprotein particle clearance. Previously, a gene therapy approach to LPL-alipogene tiparvovec showed that direct targeting of LPL function reduced pancreatitis events. An antisense oligonucleotide to apolipoprotein-C3, volanesorsen has been shown to decrease TGs by 70-80% and possibly to reduce rates of pancreatitis admissions. Studies are underway to validate its long-term efficacy and safety. Other approaches investigating the role of LPL modulating proteins such as angiopoietin-like petide-3 (ANGPTL3) are under consideration. Expert opinion: Current therapeutic options are not sufficient for management of many cases of FCS. The availability of antisense anti-apoC3 therapies and, in the future, ANGPTL3 therapies may remedy this.

Keywords: Lipoprotein lipase deficiency; antibody therapy; antisense oligonucleotide; familial chylomicronemia syndrome; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein C-III / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type I / drug therapy*
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type I / genetics
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type I / physiopathology
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / genetics
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / physiopathology
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / adverse effects
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use
  • Pancreatitis / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatitis / genetics
  • Pancreatitis / physiopathology
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Apolipoprotein C-III
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense

Supplementary concepts

  • Familial hyperchylomicronemia syndrome