Lovastatin therapy for cholesterol ester storage disease in two sisters

Michael D. Tarantino, Donald J. McNamara, Per Granstrom, Ralph D. Ellefson, Evan C. Unger, John N. Udall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We administered lovastatin to two sisters, aged 4 and 17 years, who had cholesterol ester storage disease, an autosomal recessive disorder manifested by hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia. The drug, a competitive inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, was taken orally for 6 months. Serum lipid concentrations were determined monthly. Computed tomography of the liver was performed before and during therapy to evaluate liver fat content. The younger sister had liver biopsies before and after 6 months of lovastatin therapy to assess hepatic cholesterol stores. Both patients had marked decreases in serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels increased. Computed tomography during treatment demonstrated a significant increase in linear attenuation, suggesting a decreased liver fat content. Liver tissue obtained 6 months after lovastatin therapy was initiated had 13% less esterified cholesterol than the liver sample obtained before treatment. We conclude that lovastatin may be effective in treating children with cholesterol ester storage disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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