Although the association between insulin resistance and hypertriglyceridemia has long been recognized, the question of the causal relationship of these two entities is still a matter of debate. To gain more insight into the relationship between hypertriglyceridemia and insulin resistance, we studied insulin sensitivity in two severely hypertriglyceridemic subjects in whom insulin resistance as a cause for hypertriglyceridemia could be positively ruled out. Rather, lipoprotein lipase deficiency due to a mutation in the lipoprotein lipase gene was identified as the cause. In the two study subjects, whole body glucose utilization was measured during a continuous infusion of somatostatin, glucose and insulin. Mean values of plasma glucose and insulin concentrations at 150, 160, 170 and 180 minutes were used to calculate steady state plasma glucose (SSPG) and steady state plasma insulin (SSPI) concentrations. SSPG of the two hypertriglyceridemic patients was in the range of those reported in the literature for healthy subjects without insulin resistance did not differ from those of two control subjects with normal plasma lipid levels. Therefore, the dyslipidemic state of the two patients, characterized by extreme elevation of triglyceride rich plasma lipoproteins and a severe reduction of HDL cholesterol, was clearly not associated with insulin resistance. From these findings we conclude that hypertriglyceridemia per se is not an obligatory cause for insulin resistance.