The Lipoprotein (a) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Description: Lp(a) is a test that is measuring for the levels of Lipoprotein in the blood’s serum. This test can be used to evaluate the risk for cardiovascular disease.
Also Known As: Lipoprotein A Test, lipoprotein little a Test, lpa test, lp(a) test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a Lipoprotein (a) test ordered?
Lp(a) is not a lipid profile that is commonly ordered. When an individual has a family history of heart disease at a young age that is not caused by high LDL or low HDL, it may be done along with other lipid testing.
This test may also be ordered by some doctors when:
- A person has a history of heart or vascular disease, particularly if their lipid levels are normal or very slightly raised.
- Someone is born with a genetic susceptibility to high cholesterol.
- A individual who has had a stroke or a heart attack but whose lipids are normal or only slightly increased.
What does a Lipoprotein (a) blood test check for?
Lipoprotein (a), often known as Lp(a), is a lipoprotein that transports cholesterol through the bloodstream. It has a single apolipoprotein B protein, as well as cholesterol and other lipids, and is similar to low-density lipoprotein. This test evaluates a person's risk of getting cardiovascular disease by measuring the amount of Lp(a) in their blood.
Lp(a) is a risk factor for CVD, same as LDL. A person's level of Lp(a) is genetically determined and remains generally stable throughout their lives. Because a high level of Lp(a) is expected to contribute to a person's overall risk of CVD, this test could be useful as a CVD risk marker.
The protein portion of Lipoprotein (a) is made up of the following components:
- Apolipoprotein B, a lipid-metabolizing protein that is the major protein ingredient of lipoproteins like LDL and VLDL
- Apo (a), a second protein that is connected to Apo B. Apolipoprotein(a) is a protein with a unique structure that is considered to prevent clots from breaking down naturally. The apolipoprotein(a) portion of Lp(a) varies in size from person to person, with Caucasians having a smaller apolipoprotein(a) portion than those of African heritage. Although the importance of size variation in contributing to CVD risk is debatable, there is some evidence that smaller size increases risk. However, most Lipoprotein(a) assays don’t assess the size of Apo(a). Only Lipoprotein(a) levels in the blood are measured and reported.
Because roughly half of those who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels, scientists have looked for additional factors that may impact heart disease. Lp(a) is assumed to be one of these factors. Lp(a) has two possible contributions. For starters, because Lp(a) can stimulate the uptake of LDL into blood channel walls, it may aid in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque on blood vessel walls. Second, because apo(a) has a structure that inhibits clot-dissolving enzymes, Lp(a) may enhance clot buildup in the arteries. Lp(a) may be more atherogenic than LDL for these reasons.
Lab tests often ordered with a Lipoprotein (a) test:
- Lipid Panel
- Apolipoprotein A1
- Apolipoprotein B
Conditions where a Lipoprotein (a) test is recommended:
- Heart Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Heart Attack
How does my health care provider use a Lipoprotein (a) test?
The Lp(a) test is used to determine whether an elevated level of lipoprotein (a) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The test can be used in conjunction with a standard lipid profile to provide you further information about your CVD risk.
The Lp(a) level is determined by genetics and remains largely stable throughout a person's life. It is not the objective of therapy because it is usually unaffected by lifestyle modifications or most medicines. Instead, when Lp(a) is high, the presence of this additional risk factor may indicate that other, more manageable risk factors, such as an elevated low-density lipoprotein, require more urgent treatment.
What does my Lipoprotein (a) test result mean?
A high Lp(a) level raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and cerebral vascular disease. People with a normal lipid profile can develop high Lp(a). Lp(a) levels that are high are thought to increase the risk of heart disease independently of other lipids.
Lp(a) levels are genetically set and are difficult to adjust with lifestyle modifications or medicines. However, some non-genetic diseases can result in an increase in Lp (a). Estrogen depletion, hypercholesterolemia, hypothyroidism, diabetes, chronic renal failure, and nephrotic syndrome are examples of these conditions.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.