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Sept 4, 1967


JAMA. 1967;201(10):768-769. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130100066020

Xanthomas occur commonly when cholesterol or triglyceride levels in the blood are elevated. Dermal lesions associated with hypercholesterolemia tend to be yellow; those associated with elevated serum triglycerides are more orange or red. Sites of predilection differ with these two stimuli of xanthoma formation. Diverse clinical circumstances lead to xanthomatosis, however, and rather elaborate classifications, traditionally dignified by resounding Latin names, have been developed in response to clinical needs. It is proposed that more functional classifications of xanthomatoses will better serve the present-day clinician; a case in point is the significant association between atherosclerosis and some of the xanthomatoses caused by elevated serum lipids. In an era when serum lipids are increasingly measured and frequently reduced in the hope of decreasing the threat of vascular disease, xanthomatoses caused by high levels of blood lipids should be viewed logically in terms of extravascular lipid pools and fluxes. Unfortunately, human xanthomatous tissue