Which physical findings are characteristic of low HDL cholesterol (hypoalphalipoproteinemia)?

Updated: May 21, 2021
  • Author: Vibhuti N Singh, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Persons with the common low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) syndromes have no specific physical findings. If atherosclerosis is present, the examination may reveal findings consistent with the affected arterial bed. These may include the following:

  • Tendon xanthomas

  • Cutaneous xanthomas

  • Findings of ischemic coronary heart disease or peripheral vascular disease

    • S4 gallop consistent with ischemic left ventricular dysfunction

    • Signs of congestive heart failure, such as a raised jugular distension, crackles at the lung bases, edema, and hepatomegaly

    • Arrhythmias

  • Corneal opacification


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