Skimmed breast milk for treatment of hypertriglyceridemia in an infant with congenital nephrotic syndrome

Amanda R. Dahl, Andrea L. Armellino, Cheryl L. Tran, Peter J. Tebben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Congenital nephrotic syndrome (CNS) is a complex condition that requires multidisciplinary care. Hyperlipidemia is a characteristic feature with elevation of serum cholesterol and triglycerides. Little evidence is available to guide treatment of dyslipidemia in infants with CNS. We describe successful treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia through dietary changes in a boy with CNS. A 9-day-old boy presented to the emergency department with lower extremity edema caused by deep venous thrombosis. Laboratory evaluation identified hypoalbuminemia, nephrotic-range proteinuria, and a pathogenic variant of the NPHS1 gene. The initial triglyceride concentration of 369 mg/dl increased to 3096 mg/dl by 5 weeks of age, when his diet consisted of breast milk. Refrigerated breast milk was skimmed by removing the top layer after allowing it to separate for 24 h. This process was repeated prior to use. Skimmed breast milk was supplemented with medium-chain triglyceride oil and an infant protein powder. After 2 days, the triglyceride concentration declined to 481 mg/dl and, by day 10, to 148 mg/dl. When breast milk supply decreased, a 1:1 ratio of skimmed maternal breast milk to an elemental, very low-fat formula was utilized. The triglyceride concentration remained below 400 mg/dl for the first year of life, except when skimmed breast milk was not available during hospitalization. Severe hypertriglyceridemia caused by CNS can present in the neonatal period and be difficult to manage. In our patient, skimmed maternal breast milk was successful in reducing the triglyceride concentration and should be considered a therapeutic option for children with hyperlipidemia caused by CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-387
Number of pages5
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • congenital hypothyroidism
  • congenital nephrotic syndrome
  • human milk
  • hypertriglyceridemia
  • infant
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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