Clinical investigations from the RACP

Investigation and management of xanthoma

Leon A Simons



Xanthoma around the eyelids (xanthelasma) is a common presentation; other xanthomas are quite rare. The presence of xanthoma may indicate an underlying blood lipid disorder, and patients should have a full liid profile and biochemical screen performed.

Key Points

  • Xanthoma around the eyelids (xanthelasma) is a common presentation in general practice; tendon xanthoma and cutaneous xanthoma are quite rare.
  • Many patients with xanthoma have an underlying blood lipid disorder.
  • All patients with xanthoma should have a fasting lipid profile and a standard haematology and biochemistry work up.
  • Ongoing management is related to any lipid disorder diagnosed.
  • Specialist referral may be desirable for severe lipid disorders.