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Apo-b



Why Get Tested

To help evaluate your risk of developing cardiovascular disease CVD sometimes to help monitor treatment for high cholesterol or to help diagnose a rare inherited apolipoprotein B apo B deficiency

When To Get Tested

When you have a personal or family history of heart disease and or high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and your health care provider is trying to determine your risk of developing CVD sometimes on a regular basis when you are being treated for high cholesterol rarely when your health practitioner suspects that you have an inherited apo B deficiency

Sample Required

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed

None however this test is often ordered at the same time as other tests that require fasting so you may be instructed to fast for 12 hours prior to having this test




Common Questions


The apolipoprotein B apo B test is used along with other lipid tests to help determine an individual s risk of developing cardiovascular disease CVD This test is not used as a general population screen but may be ordered if a person has a family history of heart disease and or high cholesterol and triglycerides hyperlipidemia It may be performed along with other tests to help diagnose the cause of abnormal lipid levels especially when someone has elevated triglyceride levels Apo B is a protein that is involved in the metabolism of lipids and is the main protein constituent of lipoproteins such as very low-density lipoprotein VLDL and low-density lipoprotein LDL the bad cholesterol Concentrations of apo B tend to mirror those of LDL-C A health practitioner may order both an apo A-I associated with high-density lipoprotein HDL the good cholesterol and an apo B to determine an apo B apo A-I ratio This ratio is sometimes used as an alternative to a total cholesterol HDL ratio to evaluate risk for developing CVD Apo B levels may be ordered to monitor the effectiveness of lipid treatment as an alternative to non-HDL-C non-HDL-C is the total cholesterol concentration minus the amount of HDL In rare cases an apo B test may be ordered to help diagnose a genetic problem that causes over- or under-production of apo B

Apo B may be measured along with an apo A-I or other lipid tests when a health practitioner is trying to evaluate someone s risk of developing CVD and when a person has a personal or family history of heart disease and or abnormal lipid levels especially when the person has significantly elevated triglyceride levels Sometimes apo B is ordered to monitor a person who is undergoing treatment for high cholesterol

Elevated levels of apo B correspond to elevated levels of LDL-C and to non-HDL-C and are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease CVD Elevations may be due to a high-fat diet and or decreased clearing of LDL from the blood Some genetic disorders are the direct primary cause of abnormal levels of apo B For example familial combined hyperlipidemia is an inherited disorder causing high blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides Abetalipoproteinemia also called Apolipoprotein B deficiency or Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome is a very rare genetic condition that can cause abnormally low levels of apo B For more on some of these disorders see the Related Content section Abnormal levels of apo B can also be caused by underlying conditions or other factors secondary causes Increased levels of apo B are seen for example in Diabetes Use of drugs such as androgens beta blockers diuretics progestins synthetic progesterones Hypothyroidism Nephrotic syndrome a kidney disease Pregnancy levels increase temporarily and decrease again after delivery Apo B levels may be decreased with any condition that affects lipoprotein production or affects its synthesis and packaging in the liver Lower levels are seen with secondary causes such as Use of drugs such as estrogen in post-menopausal women lovastatin simvastatin niacin and thyroxine Hyperthyroidism Malnutrition Reye syndrome Weight reduction Severe illness Surgery Cirrohsis An increased ratio of apo B to apo A-I may indicate a higher risk of developing CVD

Some elevations of apo B-100 and LDL-C are due to mutations in the APOB gene that cause it to produce apo B-100 that is not recognized as easily by LDL receptors Others are in the LDL receptor system of the liver cell that recognizes apo B-100 These genetic defects impede the clearing of LDL from the blood and result in accumulations of LDL in the circulation increasing the risk of heart disease Chylomicrons the lipoprotein particles that carry dietary lipids to the liver contain a lipoprotein called apolipoprotein B-48 It is about half the size of apo B-100 and is structurally related to apo B-100 It is not considered a risk factor for atherosclerosis and is not measured as part of the apo-B test The apo B test is specific for apo B-100

Diet and exercise changes that lower LDL levels and increase HDL the good cholesterol will lower your apo B levels and decrease your risk of heart disease

No the apo B test requires specialized equipment and is not offered by every laboratory Your blood may need to be sent to a reference laboratory for testing