Lipoprotein Fractionation, NMR

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The Lipoprotein Fractionation, NMR test contains 1 test with 8 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR test utilizes Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to provide a detailed analysis of lipoprotein particles in the blood. Unlike traditional lipid panels that measure cholesterol concentrations within lipoprotein classes, the NMR test quantifies the actual number of lipoprotein particles, their size, and subclass distribution, offering a more nuanced view of cardiovascular risk.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Patient should be fasting for 12 hours prior to collection.

When and Why the Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR Test May Be Ordered

The Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR test may be ordered when a patient has a family history of heart disease, especially if traditional lipid panels do not fully explain the individual's cardiovascular risk. It is also used for patients with known cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome to provide a detailed lipid profile and help guide treatment decisions. Additionally, it may be ordered for individuals interested in a more comprehensive assessment of their cardiovascular health.

What the Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR Test Checks For

  • LDL P (LDL Particle Number): Measures the total number of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) particles. High numbers of LDL particles are associated with greater risk of atherosclerosis.

  • Small LDL P (Small LDL Particle Number): Quantifies the number of small, dense LDL particles, which are more atherogenic than larger LDL particles due to their ability to penetrate the arterial wall more easily.

  • LDL Size: Refers to the average size of LDL particles. Smaller, denser LDL particles are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • HDL P (HDL Particle Number): Measures the total number of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) particles. Higher numbers of HDL particles are generally protective against heart disease.

  • Large HDL P (Large HDL Particle Number): Quantifies the number of large, buoyant HDL particles, which are considered particularly protective against atherosclerosis.

  • HDL Size: Indicates the average size of HDL particles. Larger HDL particles are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

  • Large VLDL P (Large VLDL Particle Number): Measures the number of large VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein) particles, which are rich in triglycerides and can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

  • VLDL Size: Refers to the average size of VLDL particles. Larger VLDL particles are associated with higher triglyceride levels and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Lab Tests Often Ordered Alongside the Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR Test

When this advanced test is ordered, it's often part of an in-depth evaluation for cardiovascular diseases, especially in individuals with a complex lipid disorder or those at high risk for heart disease. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Standard Lipid Panel:

    • Purpose: To measure total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), HDL (high-density lipoprotein), and triglycerides.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Provides a baseline assessment of lipid levels and helps in the interpretation of the more detailed NMR results.
  2. High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP):

    • Purpose: To measure CRP levels, a marker of inflammation in the body.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Inflammation plays a key role in atherosclerosis; elevated hs-CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  3. Apolipoprotein B (ApoB) and Apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1):

    • Purpose: To measure levels of these proteins, components of lipoprotein particles.
    • Why Is It Ordered: ApoB is found in potentially atherogenic particles (like LDL and VLDL), and its level correlates with cardiovascular risk. ApoA1 is a major component of HDL, associated with protective effects.
  4. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c):

    • Purpose: To measure the average blood glucose levels over the past two to three months.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Diabetes and impaired glucose metabolism are significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  5. Lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)]:

    • Purpose: To measure levels of Lp(a), a lipoprotein that can contribute to atherosclerosis.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Elevated Lp(a) levels are considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
  6. Fasting Glucose and Insulin Levels:

    • Purpose: To measure blood glucose and insulin levels after fasting.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess for insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  7. Homocysteine:

    • Purpose: To measure the level of homocysteine in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Elevated homocysteine levels can be an independent risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  8. Thyroid Function Tests:

    • Purpose: To assess thyroid gland function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Thyroid disorders can affect lipid metabolism, influencing cardiovascular risk.
  9. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver enzyme levels and overall liver function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: The liver plays a crucial role in lipid metabolism; liver diseases can impact lipid levels.
  10. Kidney Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess kidney function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Kidney diseases can affect lipid metabolism and are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR test, provide a detailed evaluation of cardiovascular risk factors and lipid metabolism. They are essential for identifying individuals at high risk for heart disease, guiding therapeutic decisions, and assessing the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing cardiovascular risk. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual's clinical history, risk factors, and the reason for testing.

Conditions and Diseases Detected by the Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR Test

The Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR test provides critical insights into various conditions:

  • Cardiovascular Disease: High LDL P, especially with a predominance of small LDL P, can indicate an increased risk of atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular events.

  • Metabolic Syndrome: The test can identify patterns typical of metabolic syndrome, such as high numbers of small LDL particles and large VLDL particles, which are associated with insulin resistance.

  • Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes often have an atherogenic lipoprotein profile characterized by small LDL and HDL particles and large VLDL particles, reflecting altered lipid metabolism.

Using Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR Test Results in Treatment and Monitoring

Healthcare professionals utilize the results from the Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR test to:

  • Personalize Cardiovascular Risk Management: Detailed lipoprotein profiles guide the customization of lipid-lowering therapies, such as statins, and lifestyle interventions to specifically target identified risk factors.

  • Monitor Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes: The test results help in assessing the effectiveness of dietary, lifestyle, and pharmacological interventions aimed at improving metabolic parameters and reducing cardiovascular risk.

  • Adjust Treatment Strategies: For patients with established cardiovascular disease, the test provides additional information to optimize treatment plans, potentially including the use of newer lipid-modifying agents.

The Lipoprotein Fractionation NMR test offers an advanced, detailed analysis of lipoprotein particles, surpassing traditional lipid panels in identifying cardiovascular risk factors. By quantifying the size and number of various lipoprotein particles, this test provides valuable insights that can guide personalized treatment and preventive strategies for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, contributing to more effective management and better patient outcomes.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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