Direct Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

This is a test used to help determine your risk of developing heart disease and to monitor lipid-lowering lifestyle changes and drug therapies. To accurately determine your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level when you are non-fasting.

The direct low-density lipoprotein test (DLDL or Direct LDL) provides an actual measurement of LDL cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol in blood. Ordinarily, when a lipid profile is ordered, LDL cholesterol is calculated using the results of the total cholesterol, the HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, the "good" cholesterol), and the triglycerides tests. However, calculation cannot be used if triglyceride levels are above 400 mg/dl or if the patient is not fasting. DLDL has now become a useful tool in lipid management because it allows measurement of LDL cholesterol in either of these circumstances. Since the direct measurement of LDL cholesterol is less affected by triglyceride concentrations than the calculation of LDL cholesterol, the DLDL test can be used when the patient is not fastingor when the patient has significantly elevated triglycerides.

Elevated levels of LDL, as measured with the DLDL, indicate a greater risk of developing heart disease. Decreasing levels show a response to lipid-lowering lifestyle changes or drug therapies and indicate a decreased risk of heart disease.

NORMAL FINDINGS

LDL: 60 to 180 mg/dl or less than 3.37 mmol/L (SI units)

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.