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Increased plasma triglyceride levels are indicative of a metabolic abnormality and, along with elevated cholesterol, are considered a risk factor for atherosclerotic disease. Hyperlipidemia may be inherited or be associated with biliary obstruction, diabetes mellitus, nephrotic syndrome, renal failure, or metabolic disorders related to endocrinopathies. Increased triglycerides may also be associated with alcohol consumption, sedentarism or medication-induced (eg, prednisone). Since cholesterol and triglycerides can vary independently, measurement of both is more meaningful than the measurement of cholesterol only. Triglyceride result can be falsely decreased in patients with elevated levels of N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI)-a metabolite of acetaminophen, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and metamizole. Triglyceride concentration in body fluids can be useful when diagnosing chylous effusion or differentiating from pseudochylous effusion Pleural fluid triglyceride concentrations over 110 mg/dL are consistent with a chylous effusion. Triglyceride concentrations below 50 mg/dL are usually not due to chylous effusions. Peritoneal fluid triglyceride concentrations over 187 mg/dL are most consistent with chylous effusion.
Minimum 12 hours overnight fasting is mandatory.