Lipid profile or lipid panel is a panel of blood tests that serves as an initial screening tool for abnormalities in lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. The results of this test can identify certain genetic diseases and can determine approximate risks for cardiovascular disease, certain forms of pancreatitis, and other diseases.
Why Get Tested:
To assess your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD); to monitor treatment of unhealthy lipid levels
When to get Tested:
Screening when no risk factors present: for adults, every four to six years; for children, teens and young adults, once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between ages 17 and 21
Monitoring: at regular intervals when you have risk factors, when prior results showed high risk levels, and/or to monitor effectiveness of treatment
- This is done ideally on fasting serum of the patient. Venous blood is taken.
- Fasting for 12 to 14 hours is required.
- Plasma with EDTA can be used.
- The sample is stable at 4 °C for 7 days and at -20 °C for 3 months.
- If plasma is used then multiply the result by 1.03.
A lipid panel typically includes:
- Total cholesterol—measures all the cholesterol in all the lipoprotein particles
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C)—measures the cholesterol in HDL particles; often called “good cholesterol” because HDL-C takes up excess cholesterol and carries it to the liver for removal.
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)—calculates or measures the cholesterol in LDL particles; often called “bad cholesterol” because it deposits excess cholesterol in walls of blood vessels, which can contribute to atherosclerosis. Usually, the amount of LDL-C is calculated using the results of total cholesterol, HDL-C, and triglycerides.
- Triglycerides—measures all the triglycerides in all the lipoprotein particles; most is in the very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).
Some other information may be reported as part of the lipid panel. These parameters are calculated from the results of the tests listed above.
- Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C)—calculated from triglycerides/5; this formula is based on the typical composition of VLDL particles.