Heart Disease

Roughly half of people who suffer heart attacks have “normal” cholesterol levels, and routine testing does not identify those at risk. Cholesterol testing has historically been used as the standard indicator for cardiovascular disease (CVD) by measuring a patient’s HDL and LDL levels. However, this routine test does not tell us anything about the lipoprotein particles that carry HDL and LDL through the body.

Lipoproteins

Measuring the lipoprotein subgroups is the best way to get a complete picture of a patient’s cardiovascular disease risk. Of the various types of lipoproteins, certain subgroups pose higher CVD risk. It is the size, density and number of actual lipoprotein molecules that impart CVD risk.

LDL particles can be large or small, and the amount of cholesterol contained in each varies widely. Patients with smaller, denser particles have a greater risk of CVD because of the particles’ ability to penetrate the arterial endothelium. Patients with an increased number of particles also have a higher associated CVD risk. Additionally, more than 20% of the population has cholesterol-depleted LDL, a condition in which a patient’s cholesterol level is “normal” but his or her particular lipoprotein molecule number, and hence his or her actual risk, is much higher than expected. In the population with cholesterol-depleted LDL, there can be up to a 40% error in risk assessment.

Lipoprotein Particle Evaluation

The Lipoprotein Particle Evaluation is the only test that measures the four key components identified as “emerging risk factors” by the National Cholesterol Education Program, including:

Lp(a)

a prothrombic-dense LDL that builds plaque, is easily oxidized, and can prevent clots from dissolving. Excess Lp(a) is associated with elevated CVD risk.

Remnant lipoprotein (RLP)

an atherogenic lipoprotein composed primarily of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL); RLP is believed to be a building block of plaque.

HDL2b

an indicator of how well excess lipids are removed from cells and transported back to the liver. Low levels are associated with increased diabetes and CVD risk.

Small, dense LDL

an atherogenic particle that easily penetrates the arterial endothelium and causes plaque formation.

Heart Health Profiles

The unique Heart Health testing suite by BioReference Laboratories features the Lipoprotein Particle Evaluation, and supports better identification and treatment of the growing population of individuals with or at risk for CVD through four clinically relevant panels.

Available Heart Health Profiles

Comprehensive Heart Health Baseline
  • CBC w/Diff
  • CMP
  • Basic Lipid
  • LDL Direct
  • Lipoprotein Particle Evaluation
  • LP(a)
  • hs-CRP
  • HbA1c
Comprehensive Hearth Health Monitoring
  • CBC w/Diff
  • CMP
  • Basic Lipid
  • LDL Direct
  • Lipoprotein Particle Evaluation
  • hs-CRP
  • HbA1c
Heart Health Baseline
  • Basic Lipid
  • LDL Direct
  • Lipoprotein Particle Evaluation
  • LP(a)
  • hs-CRP
  • HbA1c
Hearth Health Monitoring
  • Basic Lipid
  • LDL Direct
  • Lipoprotein Particle Evaluation
  • hs-CRP
  • HbA1c

 

Test Benefits

The four BioReference Heart Health profiles have a range of benefits, including:

  • Identification of risk factors otherwise missed with traditional lipid testing.
  • Inclusion of Global Risk Calculations (Framingham, Reynold’s or Pooled Cohort) to assess a patient’s 10-year risk projection for CVD.
  • Use of superior and proprietary technology that separates and counts lipoproteins by analytical ultracentrifugation, considered the CDC gold standard.
  • Useful treatment management tools (such as previous test results, suggested treatment guidelines and highlighted abnormalities on the test report) to promote patient engagement and treatment compliance.

Heart Health profiles can help accurately assess a patient’s cardiovascular risk by directly measuring the lipoprotein particles – both in number and density. Please speak with your sales representative or call our Customer Service team for ordering information or additional resources.

Full test information can also be found using the Test Directory.

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