Lipoprotein Test, LP-PLA2

What is LP-PLA2 ?

Lipoprotein associated phospolipase (LP- PLA2) is an enzyme that plays an important role in the inflammation of blood vessels and is considered to help atherosclerosis. Doctors order this test to assess the risk level associated with the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) that includes coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke.

This test measures the amount of Lp-PLA2 in the blood. People with the increased risk of CVD and ischemic stroke have been found to contain increased concentration of Lp-PLA2. This test has proved to be quite useful as a cardiac risk marker that helps in the earlier detection of CVD.

Who are the right candidates for this blood test?

LP-PLA 2 test is ordered for people who have

  1. Moderate to high risk of developing coronary heart disease
  2. The risk of an ischemic stroke
  3. Elevated lipid level with high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome
  4. Arthritis
  5. Family history of CHD

What does the test result mean?

High level of LP-PLA2 indicates high risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD). This test does not exactly diagnose the condition of CHD but only indicates the risk but only indicates the risk factor. Many people with increased level of this enzyme may not develop CHD condition while people with normal level may be prone to cardiovascular disease.

Normal range of Lp-PLA2 in a healthy person is less than 200ng/ml. Doctors may order a C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test along with it. If the level of CRP and Lp-PLA2 are higher than the normal this indicates that the person has a higher risk of getting a stroke. 

Is there any risk factor associated with the test?

There is a little risk that is limited to bleeding, infection, bruising and feeling lightheaded. You will feel a slight sting or pain or the site may be sore.

Factors that can affect the test results?

Some of the important factors that can affect this test result are:-

  1. Medications like beta blockers and steroids
  2. Binge eating before the test

How do you prepare for this test?

Doctors suggest not to eat anything 12-14 hours before the test.

You need to tell your healthcare provider the medicines, vitamins, herbs and over-the-counter drugs that you may have used before the test.