Lipid investigations should be done in patients with a personal or family history of atherosclerosis and patients with disease associated with hyperlipidaemia eg, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, chronic renal disease, xanthomas.
The tests should not be performed on specimens collected between 24 hours and 8 weeks after myocardial infarction, as levels will be lower than usual.
The specimen is collected without venostasis, following a fast of at least 12 hours.
The initial screen is fasting plasma Cholesterol and Triglycerides, ideally with Cholesterol (HDL and LDL).
Apolipoprotein B can provide a measure of the number of attherogenic lipoprotein particles.
Plasma lipoprotein (a) is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and may be indicated in patients with a personal or strong family history of atherosclerosis, with normal Cholesterol (HDL and LDL).