The Lp-PLA2 Activity test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Brief Description: The Lp-PLA2 (Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2) Activity test is a blood test designed to measure the activity of the Lp-PLA2 enzyme in the bloodstream. This enzyme is primarily associated with inflammation and the development of atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Measuring Lp-PLA2 activity can provide valuable information about cardiovascular health and the risk of heart disease.
Also Known As: LpPLA2 Test, Ps-PLA2 Activity Test, Platelet-activating Factor Acetylhydrolase Test, PAF-AH Test, PLAC Test, Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a Lp-PLA2 Activity test ordered?
Lp-PLA2 is a newer test. When someone has a family history of CHD, metabolic syndrome, and/or is deemed to be at a moderate to elevated risk for CHD or ischemic stroke, certain health practitioners may request it along with other cardiac risk markers.
What does a Lp-PLA2 Activity blood test check for?
Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme that appears to play a role in blood vessel inflammation and is thought to contribute to atherosclerosis. This test determines the amount of Lp-PLA2 in the blood as well as its activity.
Lp-PLA2 has been demonstrated in recent research to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke. Increased levels of Lp-PLA2 were seen in many persons diagnosed with CHD and ischemic stroke in these investigations, regardless of other risk factors. These findings suggest that this relatively new test could be beneficial as one of an increasing number of cardiac risk markers for determining a person's CVD risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease causes more deaths in the United States each year than any other cause. Both coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke are caused by the formation of unstable fatty plaque deposits in the arteries, which can cause blood vessel blockages and heart attacks or brain damage. High blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol levels, elevated LDL, and decreased HDL are all risk factors linked to both illnesses.
CVD affects many people who have one or more of the generally recognized risk factors, but it also affects a large number of persons who have few or none of these risk factors. This has prompted researchers to hunt for new markers that could help them identify those who are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
A low level of chronic, systemic inflammation and blood vessel inflammation, in addition to the usual risk factors listed above, is thought to contribute to overall risk of developing CVD. The hs-CRP test is linked to systemic inflammation, and high levels are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The Lp-PLA2 test is linked to vascular inflammation, and high levels have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke.
Lab tests often ordered with a Lp-PLA2 Activity test:
- Lipid Panel
- Lipoprotein Fractionation, Ion Mobility
- Lipoprotein Subfractionation
- Cholesterol Total
- LDL Cholesterol
- HDL Cholesterol
RelateConditions where a Lp-PLA2 Activity test is recommended:
The Lp-PLA2 Activity test is particularly useful for assessing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including:
- Atherosclerosis: This condition involves the buildup of fatty deposits and plaque in the arteries, leading to restricted blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
How does my health care provider use a Lp-PLA2 Activity test?
The Lp-PLA2 test is sometimes used to determine a person's risk of coronary heart disease or suffering an ischemic stroke.
Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme that appears to play a role in blood vessel inflammation and is thought to contribute to atherosclerosis. Lp-PLA2 has been demonstrated in recent research to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke.
The test is often used to assess someone who is at a moderate to high risk of CHD or stroke, as well as someone who has one or more other risk factors. When someone has normal or minimally raised lipid levels, borderline high blood pressure, or metabolic syndrome, it may be ordered.
To assess a person's level of underlying inflammation linked to CVD risk, a Lp-PLA2 test may be utilized in conjunction with a hs-CRP test. Unlike the hs-CRP test, the Lp-PLA2 test is unaffected by disorders other than CVD that can produce general inflammation, hence it can be used to diagnose inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Lp-PLA2 is a relatively new test that is rarely requested, and its clinical utility has yet to be determined. Its purpose is to provide extra information rather than to replace cholesterol and other lipid monitoring.
Some academics are looking at whether lowering Lp-PLA2 levels can reduce the risk of CHD and ischemic stroke. If lowering Lp-PLA2 lowers the risk of CVD and stroke, the Lp-PLA2 test may be requested more regularly and used to track a person's response to treatment.
What do my Lp-PLA2 test results mean?
A highly elevated Lp-PLA2 level implies an increased chance of developing CHD or having an ischemic stroke, as well as providing extra information to a health practitioner about the examined person's overall risk.
A low or normal Lp-PLA2 level indicates that this factor does not add to the risk of CVD in the person being examined.
The test is a risk indicator, not a diagnosis of CHD or ischemic stroke. Many persons with high quantities will not get these symptoms, whereas others with normal concentrations may.
Most Common Questions About the Lp-PLA2 Activity test:
Clinical Utility and Interpretation
What is the primary purpose of the Lp-PLA2 Activity test?
The Lp-PLA2 Activity test is primarily used to measure the activity of the enzyme lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) in the blood. Elevated levels of this enzyme have been associated with inflammation inside the arteries and may indicate an increased risk for heart disease, especially coronary heart disease (CHD), and ischemic stroke.
How does the Lp-PLA2 Activity test correlate with cardiovascular risk?
Increased Lp-PLA2 activity levels are considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events. Studies have shown that higher levels of Lp-PLA2 are associated with a greater likelihood of plaque rupture in the arteries, leading to events like heart attacks or strokes. Thus, this test can provide valuable information beyond traditional risk factors when assessing cardiovascular risk.
Clinical Applications and Diagnoses
How is the Lp-PLA2 Activity test different from other cardiovascular risk markers?
While there are many markers and tests to assess cardiovascular risk, such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein (CRP), the Lp-PLA2 Activity test specifically measures inflammation within the arterial walls, which can be a precursor to atherosclerotic plaque instability and rupture. As such, it offers a unique insight into the vascular inflammation component of cardiovascular risk.
When should a clinician consider ordering the Lp-PLA2 Activity test for a patient?
The Lp-PLA2 Activity test can be particularly useful for individuals who fall into intermediate risk categories based on traditional cardiovascular risk assessments. If a patient's traditional risk factors provide an unclear picture, the Lp-PLA2 Activity test can help refine that risk estimation.
How does the Lp-PLA2 Activity test complement other lipid-related tests?
The Lp-PLA2 Activity test focuses on vascular inflammation, whereas tests like LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol primarily assess lipid levels and metabolism. When used in conjunction with these lipid tests, the Lp-PLA2 Activity test can provide a more comprehensive view of cardiovascular health, encompassing both lipid status and arterial inflammation.
Understanding Limitations and Challenges
Are there conditions other than cardiovascular diseases that can affect Lp-PLA2 levels?
Yes, while the primary association of elevated Lp-PLA2 is with cardiovascular diseases, other conditions, such as renal disease and certain inflammatory disorders, can also influence its levels. It's crucial to interpret the test results in the context of the individual patient's overall health and other diagnostic information.
Additional Questions and Insights
Does the Lp-PLA2 Activity test provide information on the type of treatment a patient should receive?
While the Lp-PLA2 Activity test can indicate an elevated risk of cardiovascular events, it doesn't directly dictate a specific treatment. However, individuals with high Lp-PLA2 levels might benefit from interventions aimed at reducing vascular inflammation and overall cardiovascular risk. Treatment decisions should always be based on a comprehensive evaluation and discussion between the patient and healthcare provider.
Are there dietary or lifestyle interventions that can influence Lp-PLA2 levels?
Yes, just like with many cardiovascular risk factors, adopting a heart-healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding tobacco can positively influence Lp-PLA2 levels and reduce vascular inflammation.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.