The brave new world of genetic testing in the management of the dyslipidaemias

Hapizah Md Nawawi, Yung An Chua, Gerald F. Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose of reviewWith the exception of familial hypercholesterolaemia, the value of genetic testing for managing dyslipidaemias is not established. We review the genetics of major dyslipidaemias in context of clinical practice.Recent findingsGenetic testing for familial hypercholesterolaemia is valuable to enhance diagnostic precision, cascade testing, risk prediction and the use of new medications. Hypertriglyceridaemia may be caused by rare recessive monogenic, or by polygenic, gene variants; genetic testing may be useful in the former, for which antisense therapy targeting apoC-III has been approved. Familial high-density lipoprotein deficiency is caused by specific genetic mutations, but there is no effective therapy. Familial combined hyperlipidaemia (FCHL) is caused by polygenic variants for which there is no specific gene testing panel. Familial dysbetalipoproteinaemia is less frequent and commonly caused by APOE ϵ2ϵ2 homozygosity; as with FCHL, it is responsive to lifestyle modifications and statins or/and fibrates. Elevated lipoprotein(a) is a quantitative genetic trait whose value in risk prediction over-rides genetic testing; treatment relies on RNA therapeutics.SummaryGenetic testing is not at present commonly available for managing dyslipidaemias. Rapidly advancing technology may presage wider use, but its worth will require demonstration of cost-effectiveness and a healthcare workforce trained in genomic medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-233
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cardiology
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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