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Sitosterolemia With Atherosclerosis in a Child: A Case Report

  • Ba, Hongjun1, 2
  • Peng, Huimin1
  • He, Xiufang1
  • Cheng, Liangping1
  • Lin, Yuese1
  • Li, Xuandi1
  • Wang, Huishen1
  • Qin, Youzhen1, 2
  • 1 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Heart Center, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou , (China)
  • 2 Key Laboratory on Assisted Circulation, Ministry of Health, Guangzhou , (China)
Published Article
Frontiers in Pediatrics
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jun 11, 2021
DOI: 10.3389/fped.2021.668316
  • Pediatrics
  • Case Report


Introduction: Sitosterolemia is a rare condition in children and is often misdiagnosed as familial hypercholesterolemia. Serious complications can result if not treated promptly and effectively. When pediatric patients are diagnosed with sitosterolemia, vascular, and cardiac studies are important to evaluate for the presence of atherosclerosis. Few cases of severe atherosclerotic heart disease in children with sitosterolemia have been reported, making this case worthy of presentation. Case Presentation: Here, we report a case of sitosterolemia in an 8-year-old child. The patient presented with severe hypercholesterolemia and xanthoma. He was diagnosed two and a half years prior with familial hypercholesterolemia because his father had elevated cholesterol levels. After conventional treatment, the patient was dissatisfied with lipid level control and visited our hospital for further management. Genetic tests of the patient and parents found mutations in intron 7 (NM 022436.2, c.904+1G>A) and intron 9 (NM 022436.2, C. 1324+1de1G) of ABCG5. The 7 intron mutation was from his mother, and the 9 intron mutation was from his father. The patient was diagnosed with sitosterolemia. Results: The child was treated with ezetimibe, a low plant sterol diet, and clopidogrel anticoagulant therapy. After 3 months of treatment, the blood lipid level was significantly lower. Conclusion: Genetic testing should be completed as soon as possible to avoid misdiagnosis in children with abnormally elevated hypercholesterolemia who have a family history of elevated cholesterol. In addition, clinicians should rule out great arterial lesions and be vigilant in evaluating patients for systemic arterial disease and atherosclerosis.

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