Plasma non-cholesterol sterols: a useful diagnostic tool in pediatric hypercholesterolemia.

Angelo Baldassare Cefalu', Maurizio Averna, Anna Montali, Maurizio Averna, Francesco Martino, Eliana Martino, Davide Noto, Francesca Fayer, Giacoma Barraco, Mariangela Mina'

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Current guidelines strongly recommend the identification of genetic forms of hypercholesterolemia (HC) during childhood.The usefulness of non-cholesterol sterols (NCS) in the diagnosis of genetic HC has not been fully explored. Plasma NCS were measured by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) in 113 children with hypercholesterolemia affected by: autosomal dominant hypercholesterolemia (ADH), familial combined hyperlipidemia(FCHL), polygenic hypercholesterolemia (PHC), and in 79 controls to evaluate: i) plasma NCS profile in different genetic HC and ii) the usefulness of NCS for the diagnosis of HC beyond current clinical criteria. ADH was characterized by raised lathosterol/total cholesterol (TC) and reduced phytosterols/TC ratios, indicative of increased cholesterol synthesis. FCHL showed a slight increase of lathosterol/TC ratio, whereas PHC showed increased phytosterols/TC ratios, indicative of increased cholesterol absorption. In a post hoc discriminant analysis of patients with HC, lipid values correctly classified the 73% (14 of 19) of ADH, whereas the inclusion of plasma sterols allowed the correct identification of all 19 patients with ADH. FCHL was not differentiated from PHC (62 versus 69%).In conclusion, NCS measurement showed that cholesterol plasma levels are related to the cholesterol synthesis in ADH and to cholesterol absorption in PHC. NCS improve the detection of ADH in pediatric patients, whereas FCHL diagnosis is not improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-204
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Research
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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