How are elevated triglyceride levels determined?

Updated: Jul 23, 2021
  • Author: Mary Ellen T Sweeney, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Elevated triglycerides are determined by direct laboratory analysis of serum or plasma after a 10- to 12-hour fast. Determining which lipoprotein abnormality is the cause of hypertriglyceridemia is less straightforward.

Moderately elevated total cholesterol and triglyceride levels accompanied by the presence of palmar crease xanthomas confirm the diagnosis dysbetalipoproteinemia. Further laboratory workup may not be necessary.

Very low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs) are increased and chylomicrons are absent when triglyceride levels are elevated but below 1000 mg/dL. If triglyceride levels are above 1000 mg/dL, both VLDL and chylomicrons are usually present.


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