Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Lipoprotein Profile [Test in Focus]

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is one of the most widely adopted biomarkers in history and is used daily by physicians around the world for cardiac risk assessment. However, new technologies have enabled the measurement of the actual lipoprotein particles, which include LDL particles and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles. Multiple studies have shown that when measurements of LDL cholesterol and LDL particles diverge, LDL particles are the superior biomarker for risk prediction.

Jeffrey (Jeff) Meeusen, Ph.D., gives an overview of the new nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) lipoprotein profile available through Mayo Clinic Laboratories. He discusses when this testing should be ordered, how this testing improves upon previous testing approaches, and what clinical action can be taken due to the results of this testing.



When to Order

  • Assessment and management of a patient's risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
  • Identifying residual risk that may be present in some patients on cholesterol targeting treatment.


Specimen Information

Patient Preparation:

1. Fasting overnight (12–14 hours) is required. On night before examination, evening meal should be eaten before 6 p.m. and should contain no fatty foods.

2. Patient must not consume any alcohol for 24 hours before the specimen is collected.

Collection Container/Tube: Red top

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 1.5 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Allow isopropyl alcohol (from phlebotomy site prep) to dry thoroughly before venipuncture.

2. Centrifuge and aliquot serum.


Performance Information

Day(s) and Time(s) Test Performed

  • Tuesday and Thursday; 2 p.m.

Analytic Time

  • 2 days

Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Alyssa has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015.