The VLDL Cholesterol test contains 1 test with 2 biomarkers.
Description: The VLDL (Very Low-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol test measures the level of VLDL cholesterol in the blood. VLDL is a type of lipoprotein that transports triglycerides from the liver to various tissues in the body. While it plays a vital role in lipid metabolism, elevated VLDL cholesterol levels can be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Also Known As: VLDL Test, VLDL-C Test, Very Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: Patient should fast 9-12 hours prior to collection
When is a VLDL Cholesterol test ordered?
The VLDL-C test is rarely ordered separately. When a health practitioner wants to determine a person's risk of heart disease, it may be reported along with the findings of a lipid profile.
What does a VLDL Cholesterol blood test check for?
One of the four primary lipoprotein particles is very low-density lipoprotein. High-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and chylomicrons are the other three. Each particle contains a combination of cholesterol, triglycerides, and protein, but in different amounts depending on the particle type. The biggest level of cholesterol is seen in LDL. The protein content of HDL is the highest. Triglycerides are found in the highest concentrations in VLDL and chylomicrons.
The liver releases VLDL particles into the bloodstream, which circulate in the bloodstream before being transformed to LDL when they lose triglyceride after carrying it to other regions of the body. VLDL appears to play a role in atherogenesis, a process in which plaques form on the inside walls of arteries, narrowing them and reducing blood flow, which can lead to heart disease and raise the risk of stroke.
There is currently no easy, direct method of determining VLDL cholesterol. However, because VLDL-C carries the majority of the circulating triglyceride and the makeup of the various particles is largely stable, the amount of VLDL-C can be estimated using the triglyceride value.
To calculate VLDL-C, multiply the triglyceride number by 5 if it is in mg/dL or by 2.2 if it is in mmol/L. In most cases, this estimate is used. When triglyceride levels exceed 400 mg/dl, however, the computation is invalid since additional lipoproteins are generally present. Triglycerides testing frequently necessitates that the patient fast before the sample is taken; otherwise, the calculations may be inaccurate.
Lab tests often ordered with a VLDL Cholesterol test:
- Lipid Panel
- Lipoprotein Fractionation Ion Mobility
- Apolipoprotein A1
- Apolipoprotein B
Conditions where a VLDL Cholesterol test is recommended:
A VLDL cholesterol test is essential in the following situations:
Cardiovascular Risk Assessment: To assess a person's risk of developing heart disease or stroke, especially when there are other risk factors involved.
Monitoring Lipid-Lowering Medications: For individuals taking cholesterol-lowering medications, the test helps healthcare providers monitor treatment effectiveness.
How does my health care provider use a VLDL Cholesterol test?
Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol can be found in a lipid profile, which is a collection of tests used to estimate the risk of coronary heart disease and is an important component of cardiac risk assessments.
Increased VLDL-C levels are assumed to be due to the presence of particles known as lipoprotein remnants, which are intermediary particles on the VLDL-to-LDL conversion pathway. The conversion of VLDL to LDL is hindered when large amounts of VLDL are present, and the accumulation of intermediate particles is thought to contribute to atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
What do my VLDL Cholesterol Test results mean?
A high amount of VLDL cholesterol, like a high level of LDL cholesterol, is linked to heart disease and stroke. The presence of high VLDL in addition to high LDL may influence the type of cholesterol-lowering therapy utilized, such as lifestyle changes or medication therapy.
Low VLDL cholesterol levels are rarely a cause for worry.
Most Common Questions About the VLDL Cholesterol test:
Purpose and Clinical Significance of the VLDL Cholesterol Test
What is the purpose of the VLDL Cholesterol test?
The VLDL Cholesterol test measures the level of Very Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (VLDL-C) in the blood. VLDL-C is one of the five major groups of lipoproteins and plays a key role in transporting triglycerides in the blood. High levels of VLDL-C are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
How does the VLDL Cholesterol test differ from other cholesterol tests like LDL and HDL?
VLDL Cholesterol is different from LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) and HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) as it mainly carries triglycerides. While LDL is associated with "bad" cholesterol, and HDL is "good" cholesterol, VLDL-C can lead to plaque deposits in the arteries, similar to LDL.
Interpretation of the VLDL Cholesterol Test
How are the results of the VLDL Cholesterol test interpreted?
Typically, VLDL-C is calculated as a percentage of the triglyceride value, usually one-fifth of the triglycerides. Normal VLDL-C levels are between 2 to 30 mg/dL. High levels may indicate a higher risk of heart disease, while low levels are generally not a concern.
How is the VLDL Cholesterol test used in the context of overall cardiovascular risk assessment?
The VLDL Cholesterol test is often part of a lipid profile, which assesses the risk of heart disease. High VLDL-C levels, along with other risk factors like high LDL, can provide a more comprehensive view of cardiovascular risk.
What underlying health conditions may be indicated by abnormal VLDL Cholesterol test results?
High VLDL Cholesterol levels may indicate underlying conditions like metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, or kidney disease.
VLDL Cholesterol Test in Disease Management
How is the VLDL Cholesterol test used to monitor the treatment of hyperlipidemia or other lipid disorders?
The VLDL Cholesterol test can be part of a treatment monitoring plan for hyperlipidemia. If medications or lifestyle changes are prescribed, regular testing can track how well the treatment is controlling VLDL-C levels.
Can the VLDL Cholesterol test guide dietary and lifestyle interventions?
Yes, the results of the VLDL Cholesterol test can guide interventions such as a low-saturated fat diet or increased physical activity. These interventions aim to lower VLDL-C and reduce heart disease risk.
VLDL Cholesterol Test and Related Tests
Is the VLDL Cholesterol test usually performed with other lipid tests?
Yes, the VLDL Cholesterol test is usually part of a lipid profile, including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
How does the VLDL Cholesterol test relate to triglyceride testing?
Since VLDL Cholesterol carries triglycerides, a triglyceride test is typically performed alongside it. High triglycerides usually result in high VLDL-C levels.
Miscellaneous Questions about the VLDL Cholesterol Test
Is the VLDL Cholesterol test used in the follow-up of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia?
Although LDL cholesterol is the primary target in familial hypercholesterolemia, VLDL Cholesterol may also be monitored to assess overall cardiovascular risk.
Can the VLDL Cholesterol test results change over time in the same individual?
Yes, VLDL Cholesterol levels can change due to factors like diet, weight, physical activity, medications, and underlying health conditions.
How is the VLDL Cholesterol test affected by acute illnesses or infections?
Acute illnesses or infections can transiently alter lipid levels, including VLDL Cholesterol, often lowering them temporarily.
Can the VLDL Cholesterol test be used in conjunction with genetic testing for cardiovascular risk?
The VLDL Cholesterol test, along with other cholesterol tests, can be used in conjunction with genetic testing to provide a more comprehensive assessment of cardiovascular risk.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.