What is Lipoprotein Test?
The level of lipoprotein (a) in the blood is determined by a lipoprotein (a) test. One may be at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke if one has a high level of blood lipoprotein (a).
Particles called lipoproteins are composed of protein and fat (lipids). They deliver cholesterol to the cells through the bloodstream. High-density lipoprotein, or "good" cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein, or "bad" cholesterol, are the two main categories of lipoproteins.
Lipoprotein (a) is a kind of LDL. These lipoproteins transport cholesterol to the cells in the arteries. If you have excessive levels of LDL particles, cholesterol can accumulate in the arteries and create plaques, which are blockages. This is known as atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries." It can lead to various significant medical issues, including:
- Heart attack
- Other blood vessel diseases
- Peripheral arterial disease, blocked arteries in the arms and legs
- Coronary artery disease
Due to their stickier nature compared to other LDL particle types, lipoprotein (a) particles may be more prone to obstructing the arteries and forming blood clots. High levels of lipoprotein (a) may therefore indicate a very high risk for stroke, heart disease, and other severe illnesses linked to artery blockages and blood clots.
A lipoprotein (a) blood test can provide a more accurate view of the risk than a standard cholesterol test examining total LDL cholesterol levels. This is because, while a standard cholesterol test may show that the LDL cholesterol level is "good," if lipoprotein (a) particles carry a significant portion of the LDL cholesterol, the risk for heart disease and stroke remains high.
Other names: Lp(a), cholesterol Lp(a)