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Differential Diagnosis: Hypercholesterolemia

Julie Allen, BVMS, MS, MRCVS, DACVIM (SAIM), DACVP, Cornell University

Internal Medicine

|February 2019|Peer Reviewed

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Differential Diagnosis: Hypercholesterolemia

Following are differential diagnoses, listed in order of likelihood, for patients presented with hypercholesterolemia.

  • Hemolysis (false increase with marked hemolysis)
  • Postprandial (mild, typically does not exceed the reference interval)
  • Obesity
  • Certain high-fat diets (dogs only; meat-based diets only)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hyperadrenocorticism
  • Cholestasis
  • Pancreatitis (hypertriglyceridemia more common)
  • Familial hyperlipidemia of miniature schnauzers (primarily hypertriglyceridemia)
  • Nephrotic syndrome (in combination with hypoalbuminemia, proteinuria, and edema)
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia (Briards, rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, rough collies, Shetland sheepdogs)
  • Inherited hyperchylomicronemia (in cats; primarily hypertriglyceridemia)


For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

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