How is the presence of chylomicrons confirmed in hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels)?

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

If the triglyceride levels are greater than 1000 mg/dL and the presence of chylomicrons must be confirmed, the simplest and most cost-effective test involves overnight refrigeration of an upright tube of plasma or serum. If a creamy supernatant is seen the next day, chylomicrons are present. If the infranatant is cloudy, high levels of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) are present (type V hyperlipidemia). If the infranatant is clear, the VLDL content is normal and type I hypercholesterolemia (elevated chylomicrons only) should be suspected.


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