Lipid assay improves cardiovascular risk prediction

Answers from the Lab

Like cholesterol, ceramides are lipids associated with cardiovascular disease. In this test-specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Jeff Meeusen, Ph.D., explains how Mayo Clinic Laboratories' new MI-Heart Ceramides assay goes beyond standard testing to guide the management of patients with mildly to moderately high cholesterol.

"Ceramides are an excellent biomarker that will help identify persons who really are at a high risk for cardiovascular complications in the near future," Dr. Meeusen says.

Ceramide testing requires mass spectrometry. Compared with other advanced markers of cardiovascular risk, ceramides have significant predictive abilities.

"And the good news about ceramides is they respond to the same treatments you would use to lower cholesterol," Dr. Meeusen says.

Listen to learn more about Mayo Clinic Laboratories' MI-Heart Ceramides assay.

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Useful information

Evaluating the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events within the next 1 to 5 years.

Specimen requirements

Patient Preparation: Patients should not be receiving Intralipid because it may cause false elevations in measured ceramides.

Collection Container/Tube: Lavender top (EDTA)

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions: Centrifuge, aliquot at least 1 mL of plasma into a plastic vial and freeze within 8 hours.

Performance information

  • Analytic time: 2 - 7 days
  • Day(s) and time(s) performed: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

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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.