Apolipoproteins Serum Test
Submitted on March 27, 2012
Apolipoprotein serums are proteins that attach to lipids or fats, and thus form lipoproteins. These lipoproteins transport fats from the person’s diet through the bloodstream. These fats are digested in the intestines and are then carried to the liver. These fats are metabolized and used as energy by the skeletal muscles, heart, and other organs. Lipoproteins are either high density lipoproteins (HDL) or low density lipoproteins (LDL). LDLs are the “bad” cholesterols that get absorbed by the cells or tissues of the body. Increased levels of LDLs create plaque formations in the arteries and therefore indicate the risk of heart disease. HDLs on the other hand can reverse the effects of LDLs. There are six types of apolipoproteins, these are A, B, C, D, and E. Different types of test use blood serum to test for apolipoproteins. Apolipoproteins serum tests measure the LDLs in the bloodstream.
Reasons for Apolipoproteins Serum Test
Doctors may order these tests if they want to determine the cause of hyperlipidemia or if they suspect a disorder that is causing a deficiency in Apo A-I. These tests are also ordered along with other tests to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for lowering Apo A-I. Apolipoproteins serum tests are used to determine the risk of heart disease in patients who have a family history of cardiovascular disease.
Procedure to Conduct Apolipoproteins Serum Test
The Apolipoprotein serum test, involves a simple blood sample. Before drawing blood from the forearm, the puncture area is prepared by tying a tourniquet around the forearm. This stops the blood flow and allows the vein in the forearm to swell. The lab technician then uses a sterilized needle to puncture the vein and draw out the blood sample. Usually the needle used is attached to a vial or a tube wherein the blood is collected. After the sample is taken, the needle is removed and a small bandage is placed over the puncture area. The sample is then sent for testing, where the red blood cells are separated from the serum. The serum is used for determining the presence of apolipoproteins.
Preparation for Apolipoproteins Serum Test
This test does not require any prior preparation. However, you may discuss the test and its results with your doctor if you have any doubts regarding the test. If you are on any medication to lower cholesterol or are taking medications for heart ailments, be sure to mention these to your doctor before undergoing the test.