Foamy, whitish appearance of the pyloric caeca, reflecting elevated lipid content, histologically visible as hypervacuolation, is frequently observed in Atlantic salmon fed high-plant diets. Lipid malabsorption syndrome (LMS) is suggested as term for the phenomenon. Earlier studies have shown that insufficient supply of phospholipids may cause similar symptoms. The objective of the present study was to strengthen knowledge on the role of choline, the key component of phosphatidylcholine, in development of LMS as well as finding the dietary required choline level in Atlantic salmon. A regression design was chosen to be able to estimate the dietary requirement level of choline, if found essential for the prevention of LMS. Atlantic salmon (456 g) were fed diets supplemented with 0, 392, 785, 1177, 1569, 1962, 2354, 2746 and 3139 mg/kg choline chloride. Fish fed the lowest-choline diet had pyloric caeca with whitish foamy surface, elevated relative weight, and the enterocytes were hypervacuolated. These characteristics diminished with increasing choline level and levelled off at levels of 2850, 3593 and 2310 mg/kg, respectively. The concomitant alterations in expression of genes related to phosphatidylcholine synthesis, cholesterol biosynthesis, lipid transport and storage confirmed the importance of choline in lipid turnover in the intestine and ability to prevent LMS. Based on the observations of the present study, the lowest level of choline which prevents LMS and intestinal lipid hypervacuolation in post-smolt Atlantic salmon is 3·4 g/kg. However, the optimal level most likely depends on the feed intake and dietary lipid level.