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This test measures the amount of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) in your blood. VLDL cholesterol is a type of blood fat. It’s considered one of the “bad” forms of cholesterol, along with LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. This is because high levels cholesterol can clog your arteries and lead to a heart attack.

Also Known As:  VLDL-C, VLDL, Very Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

Test Panel: CholesterolHDL CholesterolLDL CholesterolTriglyceridesVLDL CholesterolNon-High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

VLDL Cholesterol

Why Get Tested:

  • Advised to evaluate the coronary artery disease risk.
  • This can be advised as the part of a lipid profile.

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When to Get Tested:

  • Screening: as part of a regular health exam with a lipid profile.
  • when no risk factors for heart disease are present.
  • once every four to six years in adults.
  • children should have a lipid profile screening at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and then again between the ages of 17 and 21.

Sample Required:

  • This test is done on the serum.
  • Fasting sample is preferred. Advised the patient to fast for 12 to 14 hours.
  • This test can be done on plasma as well.
  • Can store serum or plasma at 4 °C for 4 days (can keep for 5 to 7 days).

Normal Value:

  • 7 to 32 mg/dL.

Calculation of VLDL

The VLDL can be calculated by the following formula:

  1. VLDL = Triglycerides ÷ 5

Increased VLDL is seen in:

  1. Nephrotic syndrome.
  2. Glycogen storage diseases.
  3. Familial LDL lipoproteinemia.
  4. Hypothyroidism.
  5. Chronic liver disease.
  6. Liver cell carcinoma.
  7. Gammopathies.
  8. Cushing syndrome.
  9. Familial hypercholesterolemia.

Decreased VLDL is seen in:

  1. Hypoproteinemia.
  2. Hyperthyroidism.
  3. Familial hypolipoproteinemia.

Table showing the summary of characteristics of the lipoproteins

PLasma appearanceCreamy layer, slightly turbidClearClear, or yellow-orange tintTurbid to opaque
Size (diameter nm)>70.04 to 1019.6 to 22.725 to 70
Electrophoretic mobilityOriginα – regionβ – regionPre – β region
Molecular weight 0.4 to 30 x 1093.6 x 1092.75 x 1095 to 10 x 109
Synthesized in (Tissue of origin)IntestineIntestine and liver IntravascularLiver and intestine 
Composition by weight in %    
                     Cholesterol esterified5384911 to 14
                    Cholesterol unesterified210 135 to 8 
                    Triglycerides8491144 to 60
                    Phospholipids7222720 to 23
                    Proteins221234 to 11
TriglyceridesMarkedly raisedNormalNormal/ RaisedModerately to Markedly raised
Clinical significance ofPancreatitis and acute abdomenDecreased risk of CADIncreased risk of CADIncreased risk of CAD
FunctionsTransport dietary lipids to tissueCarry cholesterol from tissue to liverCarries cholesterol to tissueTransport endogenous TG from liver to adipose tissue

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