Test for LDL subtype helps manage coronary risk

Answers from the Lab

Small dense LDL cholesterol (sdLDL-c) is an important biomarker for understanding a patient's risk of coronary heart disease. In this test-specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Vlad Vasile, M.D., Ph.D., and Leslie Donato, Ph.D., explain how Mayo Clinic Laboratories' assay measuring sdLDL-c concentrations aids clinical management of patients with high LDL or "bad" cholesterol.

"sdLDL-c is a particular type of harmful cholesterol that is thought to be highly atherogenic," Dr. Vasile says. "Patients with elevated LDL cholesterol might or might not have high small dense LDL. The sdLDL-c assay identifies the category of patients at higher risk, who might otherwise be missed in clinical practice."

The results can directly impact clinical care.

"The higher the cholesterol concentration in these small dense particles, the higher the risk of future cardiovascular events," Dr. Donato says. "sdLDL-c test results can help guide decisions about initiating or intensifying a pharmacotherapy, to lower overall atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk."

Listen to learn more about Mayo Clinic Laboratories' sdLDL-c assay.

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Useful information

Aiding in risk management of lipoprotein disorders associated with cardiovascular disease when used in conjunction with other lipid measurements and clinical evaluation.

Specimen requirements

Patient Preparation: Fasting: Overnight (8-12 hours)

Collection Container/Tube:

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions:

  1. Centrifuge and aliquot serum into a plastic vial.
  2. Send frozen.

Performance information

  • Analytic time: 1 - 3 days
  • Day(s) and time(s) performed: Monday through Sunday

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Barbara J. Toman

Barbara J. Toman is a Senior Communications Specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is also the science writer for Mayo’s Neurosciences Update newsletter, which helps referring physicians to stay informed about Mayo’s treatment and research. Barbara has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2007. She enjoys international travel and cooking.