Measurement of apolipoprotein B levels helps in the identification of patients at risk for hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis

Kristen M. Gonzales, Leslie J. Donato, Pankaj Shah, Vinaya Simha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Severe hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) is a common cause of acute pancreatitis, although even moderate HTG may elevate this risk. Identifying patients who are prone to hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis (HTGP) can facilitate early, preventative interventions. Objective: To examine advanced lipoprotein profile (ALP) of hypertriglyceridemic patients with and without HTGP to identify lipid and lipoprotein parameters which may help improve risk stratification. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of adult patients with serum triglycerides (TGs) ≥ 500 mg/dL who underwent ALP testing. Chart reviews were conducted to identify those who developed HTGP or not. Comparisons of lipid profiles of patients with and without HTGP were performed using chi-square or rank-sum tests. ROC curves were generated to identify lipid and lipoprotein parameters which helped improve prediction of HTGP beyond serum TG levels. Results: Fifty-eight subjects were included in the analysis. Twenty had at least one documented episode of HTGP. Among patients with HTGP, median serum TG concentrations were 2832 mg/dL vs. 978 mg/dL in the non-pancreatitis group (p < 0.001). Chylomicron TG/total TG, chylomicron TG/VLDL TG, chylomicron TG/apoB, total TG/total Cholesterol, and total TG/apoB were significantly higher among the pancreatitis group. Total serum TG/apoB had the best discriminant value for predicting HTGP with an AUC-ROC of 0.87 (p < 0.001). A cutoff of >10.6 was associated with a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 75%. Conclusion: Measurement of serum apoB levels and calculation of serum TG/apoB ratio may help identify hypertriglyceridemic patients at risk for HTGP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Advanced lipoprotein profile
  • Apolipoprotein B
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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