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Test Code LDL LDL Cholesterol, Direct

Additional Codes

Epic: LAB102

Specimen Required

Specimen Type: Serum

Collection Container/Type

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Green top (Lithium heparin)

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 3 mL

Collection Instructions: Centrifuge and separate cells after clot formation and within 4 hours of collection. 

Specimen Stability

Room temperature: Unacceptable

Refrigerated: 5 days

Frozen: 3 months

Reference Range

National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel Classification


Optimal: <100 mg/dL

Near or above optimal: 100 - 129mg/dL

Borderline high: 160 - 189 mg/dL

High: 160 - 189 mg/dL

Very high: ≥190 mg/dL

Rejection Due To

Unlabeled, mislabeled, wrong tube type, QNS, exceeds specimen stability requirements.

Report Available

Same day / 1 day

Clinical Significance

Plasma lipoproteins are spherical particles containing various amounts of cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, and proteins. The relative proportions of protein and lipid determine the density of these lipoproteins and provide the basis on which to classify them. These classes are chylomicrons, very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), and high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is recognized as a key risk factor for coronary atherosclerotic disease (CHD).

LDL cholesterol is the key factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and CHD. Even within the normal range of total cholesterol concentrations, an increase in LDL cholesterol can occur with an associated increased risk for CHD.

Method Name

Measured, liquid selective detergent

Day(s) Performed