Clinical Lipidology led by Dr Dirk Blom at Groote Schuur Hospital and UCT, works closely with laboratory-based lipidology in chemical pathology. Regular meetings ensure most appropriate management and diagnostic work-up. Other laboratories or clinicians may also contact us directly for consultations and work-up.

The conventional lipid profiling in the GSH laboratory and private laboratories suffices for the bulk of clinical management, but further clinical and laboratory evaluation are recommended if the total cholesterol is <2.5 mmol/l, exceeds 7.5 mmol/l, or the LDL cholesterol is <1.5 mmol/l or exceeds 5.0 mmol/l, the fasting triglyceride exceeds 5 mmol/l (>15 mmol/l being a very high risk for pancreatitis. HDL cholesterol is investigated if <0.7 mmol/l or >2.0 mmol/l. Other reasons for further investigation are cutaneous or tendinous xanthomata or suspected metabolic disorders such as in cholesterol biosynthesis (Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome) and cholesterol metabolism (phytosterolaemia, cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis). Fatty acid metabolism errors such as adrenaleukodystrophy errors of oxidation are also of interest.

Specialized work-up includes lipoprotein electrophoresis, lipoprotein ultracentrifugation, enzyme assays, cell culture and genetic tests supported in a large part by the Medical Research Council grant to the Cape Heart Group. Whilst curent research focus is on familial hypercholesterolaemia and hyperalphalipoproteinaemia locally and in collaboration, we strive to provide a comprehensive diagnostic service for unusual and severe lipid disorders, and to research these disorders in Southern Africa.

Contact us at:

Tel:    +27-21-4066185
Fax:    +27-21-4488150
email:    Prof David Marais