PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is an inherited disorder of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) which is characterised by a raised cholesterol level from birth and a high risk of premature coronary heart disease. In this paper, we review the genetic basis of FH and its impact on the clinical presentation.
Mutations in any of three genes (LDLR, APOB and PCSK9) are known to cause autosomal dominant FH, but a mutation can be found in only ∼40% of patients with a clinical diagnosis of FH. In the remainder, a polygenic aetiology is most likely, due to the co-inheritance of common LDL-C-raising variants. The cardiovascular presentation and management of FH will differ between patients based on their underlying genetic factors. New genotyping methods such as next-generation sequencing will provide us with better understanding of the genetic architecture of FH.