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Homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia in a patient presenting with hypertensive encephalopathy


Homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (HoFH) is a disorder affecting low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor genes. Patients typically have a triad of elevated LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), xanthomatosis and premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Our patient, a preteen boy, presented with signs of hypertensive encephalopathy. Physical examination showed arcus cornealis, planar xanthomas and tuberous xanthomas. After appropriate investigations, a direct aetiology of the hypertension could not be elucidated; however, our patient’s hypertension resolved with the reduction in serum lipid levels. β-hydroxy β-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase and cholesterol absorption inhibitors were administered as first-line treatment. A significant proportion of patients with HoFH continue to have elevated LDL-C levels, thereby requiring second-line agents, such as proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type inhibitors (evolocumab), microsomal triglyceride transfer protein inhibitors (lomitapide) and angiopoietin-like protein inhibitors (evinacumab). This case report aimed to raise awareness among paediatricians to consider HoFH as a possible aetiology in a child presenting with hypertension and suggestive physical findings.

  • Paediatrics
  • Paediatric intensive care
  • Headache (including migraines)
  • Drugs and medicines
  • Dermatology

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