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Apolipoprotein B100

Definition

Apolipoprotein B100 (apoB100) is a protein that plays a role in moving cholesterol around your body. It is a form of low density lipoprotein (LDL).

Mutations (changes) in apoB100 can cause a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia. This is a form of high cholesterol that is passed down in families (inherited).

This article discusses the test used to measure the level of apoB100 in the blood.

Alternative Names

ApoB100; Apoprotein B100

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

Your health care provider may tell you not to eat or drink anything for 4 to 6 hours before the test.

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you may feel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

Why the Test is Performed

Most often, this test is done to help determine the cause or specific type of high blood cholesterol. It is not clear whether the information helps improve treatment. Because of this, most health insurance companies do not pay for the test. If you do not have a diagnosis of high cholesterol or heart disease, this test may not be recommended for you.

Normal Results

The normal range is 50 to 150 mg/dL.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

An abnormal result may mean you have high lipid (fat) levels in your blood. A medical term for this is hyperlipidemia.

Other disorders that may be associated with high apoB100 levels include angina pectoris (chest pain that occurs with activity or stress) and heart attack.

Risks

Veins and arteries vary in size from person to person and from one side of the body to the other. Because of this, getting a blood sample from some people may be harder than getting one from others.

Other risks linked with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed
  • Hematoma (blood buildup under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
  • Multiple punctures to locate veins

Considerations

Apolipoprotein measurements may provide more detail about your risk for heart disease, but the added value of this test beyond a lipid panel is unknown.

References

Genest J, Libby P. Lipoprotein disorders and cardiovascular disease. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 47.

Robinson JG. What is the role of advanced lipoprotein analysis in practice? J Am Coll Cardiol. Dec 2012;60(25):2607-2615.

Semenkovich, CF. Disorders of lipid metabolism. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 213.

Review Date:5/20/2014
Reviewed By:Larry A. Weinrauch MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Outcomes Research, Watertown, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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