Do Cholesterol Numbers Really Assess
Lipoprotein Particle Numbers Tell the Story
LPP™ Testing is essential to identifying at-risk patients
Up to 50 percent of those who have suffered heart attacks had “normal” cholesterol numbers. How can the large discrepancy between accurate diagnosis and standard cholesterol testing be prevented? Simply by testing the LDL (low density lipoprotein) particle numbers using the Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ (LPP™) from SpectraCell Laboratories.
Overview of lipoprotein particles and cholesterol
Cholesterol testing has historically been used as the standard indicator for cardiovascular disease classified as HDL (good) or LDL (bad). However, it is actually the lipoprotein particles that carry the cholesterol throughout the body, not necessarily the cholesterol within them, that are responsible for key steps in plaque production and the resulting development of cardiovascular disease.
Measuring cholesterol alone does not provide the complete picture and can be misleading.
Approximately 50 percent of people suffering from heart attacks have shown “normal” cholesterol numbers (NIH – National Heart Blood and Lung Institute).
Now there is an advanced cholesterol testing technology which accurately measures both the density and number of lipoprotein particles.
This test is the Lipoprotein Particle Profile™, or LPP™, from SpectraCell Laboratories.
Measuring the lipoprotein subgroups is the best way to evaluate new risk factors, which is crucial for an accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk – according to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).
NCEP new Risk Factors:
– Small, dense LDL: these atherogenic particles are easily oxidized and penetrate the arterial endothelium to form plaque
– Lp(a): this small, dense LDL is involved in thrombosis
RLP (Remnant Lipoprotein): is very atherogenic, has a similar composition and density of plaque, is believed to be a building block of plaque and does not need to be oxidized like other LDL particle
– HDL2b: positively correlates with heart health because it is an indicator of how well excess lipids are removed
Why is it important to know lipoprotein numbers?
Cardiovascular risk increases with a higher LDL particle count. With a higher non-HDL lipoprotein count the probability of particle penetration of the arterial wall rises, regardless of the total amount of cholesterol contained in each particle. On average, the typical particle contains 50 percent cholesterol.
More than 20 percent of the population has cholesterol-depleted LDL, a condition in which a patient’s cholesterol may be “normal” but their lipoprotein particle number, and hence their actual risk, could be much higher than expected. This is especially common in persons whose triglycerides are high or HDL is low. In the population with a cholesterol-depleted LDL, there can be up to a 40 percent error in risk assessment.
Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ (LPP™)
Providing a Complete Look at Lipoprotein Subgroups
SpectraCell’s LPP™ test is a proprietary technology originally developed at Texas A&M University that separates the lipoproteins in blood serum by density using analytical ultracentrifugation, the CDC gold standard for lipoprotein testing, then measures the particles photometrically.
High numbers of small dense LDL particles could ultimately cause cardiovascular disease.
We use LPP™ in our practice for accurate atherogenic risk assessments.
Traditionally, the standard lipid panel calculates LDL from measurements of the other lipoproteins. In contrast, the LPP™ method presents values for all of the lipoproteins from direct measurement. SpectraCell’s LPP™ technology aids in assessing a patient’s cardiovascular risk. With LPP™, we can begin to treat patients with atherogenic lipoprotein profiles before overt dyslipidemia becomes apparent.