Diagnostic Tests

Lipoprotein Electrophoresis


Lipoprotein Electrophoresis

Also known as Lipoprotein Electrophoresis Electrophoresis Blood
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What is this test?

Lipoprotein Electrophoresis Blood test measures the level of lipoproteins in the blood. This test helps to determine the risk of heart diseases.

What are Lipoproteins?

Lipids cannot dissolve in blood by itself. Therefore proteins combine with lipid to form lipoproteins. These lipoproteins contain apolipoproteins that help in the transport of lipids throughout the bloodstream. There are many types of apolipoproteins and each type determines where the lipoprotein will go.

Lipoproteins are spherical in structure and are of four (4) types. Each type of lipoprotein has its own characteristic protein and lipid composition. They are the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and chylomicrons.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL- the good cholesterol) is the smallest lipoproteins. It plays an important role in the removal of excess or unused cholesterol from the cells and returns this cholesterol to the liver. The liver breaks down the returned cholesterol to bile acids and salts. These bile acids and salts are eliminated through the intestine. If there is enough HDL present in the body, it prevents the build-up of fatty plaques or deposits in the blood vessels.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL- the bad cholesterol) transport fat and cholesterol from the liver and promote the uptake of cholesterol into the cells. This results increased levels of cholesterol in the body. If there are high levels of LDL in the body, it results in the build-up of fatty plaques or deposits in the blood vessels.

Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) contain high amounts of fat and results in cholesterol build up on the walls of arteries. Chylomicrons are lipoproteins that carry dietary lipids to the liver.

Assessing the levels and distributions of different types of lipoproteins determines the risk of cardiovascular diseases (heart diseases).

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed to determine the levels and distributions of different types of lipoproteins in the blood. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you have a family history of cardiovascular diseases or if you are at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. This test is recommended if you have signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease such as chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc.

You may be advised to perform this test if you have high cholesterol levels to rule out the risk of cardiovascular diseases (heart diseases). This test is also recommended if you have had a heart attack or stroke even if your lipid profile is normal or if cholesterol or LDL levels are slightly elevated.

How often this test is performed?

If you have a family history of cardiovascular diseases (heart diseases) your doctor may ask to perform this test in a 6 monthly or a yearly basis. If you are diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases (heart diseases), then you may have to perform this test on a regular basis as instructed by the doctor.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Lipoprotein Electrophoresis. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Lipoprotein Electrophoresis.

You may ask to fast (without eating anything) for a whole night or for up to 9 to 12 hours. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

If the test results show high value than the normal range it may indicate cardiovascular conditions such as heart attack, or hyperlipoproteinemia (a condition of high levels of lipids in the blood). Individuals with diseased conditions such as nephrotic syndrome (a kidney disorder), diabetes mellitus, multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer) etc may also show high value than the normal range.

Individuals with Tangier disease (lipoprotein deficiency disorder) and chronic obstructive lung disease (a disease that blocks the airflow in the lungs) may show low value than the normal range.

The test results may vary depending on the levels and distributions of different types of lipoproteins. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
MALEAll age groups40-49 mg/dll
FEMALEAll age groups50-59meq/dl
UNISEXAll age groups< 100 mEq/dl
UNISEXAll age groups2 TO 30 mg/dl
MALEAll age groups> 120 mg/dl
FEMALEAll age groups> 140 mg/dl
UNISEXAll age groups< 130 mg/dl
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