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LDL Subfractions Test LipoScan®

LipoScan® LDL subfractions test, or lipoprotein subfraction test, is a more advanced and detailed analysis of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. It assesses the different types and sizes of LDL particles, which can provide a more comprehensive understanding of cardiovascular risk than a standard LDL cholesterol test.

Both case-controlled and prospective epidemiological studies have demonstrated that LDL cholesterol is an independent and modifiable factor for cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, LDL is not a single entity but a heterogeneous group of particles, varying in size with a predominance of smaller particles that are more atherogenic. The increased atherogenicity is due to reduced affinity for the LDL receptor, resulting in delayed clearance from the liver. There is also increased arterial intima permeability for these smaller LDL particles, thus initiating enhanced foam cell formation and hence, atherosclerosis. Because the size of LDL particles is inversely correlated to their atherogenicity, patients with predominantly small LDL particles are considered to have a more “atherogenic profile” than those with larger particles, despite identical total LDL levels.

Cardiovascular disorders are the most frequent cause of death, not only in Greece but also throughout Europe and other Western societies. The pathogenesis usually involves increased lipid levels, especially increased serum cholesterol levels in affected individuals. In the blood, cholesterol is transported by a system of lipoproteins and is mostly contained in low-density lipoprotein (LDL). The LDLs, classified as atherogenic, have become the target of the traditional treatment of hypercholesterolemia. The lower the concentration of LDL cholesterol, the more efficient the treatment of hyperlipoproteinemia is.

The new theory on LDL maintains that LDL is not a homogenous class of lipoproteins, and several subsets can be identified as LDL 1-7 with diverse atherogenic potential. The so-called small dense LDLs are highly atherogenic, in turn representing the LDL3-7 subpopulation. Our LipoScan® LDL Subfractions test based on the new LipoPrint® LDL System which has been approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for human medicine for the assessment of plasma lipoproteins, brings a fundamentally different view to the interpretation of hypercholesterolemia. By using this assessment method, it is possible to identify up to 12 classes of lipoproteins and their corresponding subsets (VLDL, IDL1-3, LDL1-7, and HDL). This method enables the quantitative assessment of non-atherogenic and atherogenic lipoproteins, thereby uncovering the hidden risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in the individual being assessed, even if the overall cholesterol and triglyceride levels are normal. With early diagnosis by using the LipoScan® LDL test, it is possible to significantly reduce this risk of cardiovascular diseases by using dietary restrictions or changing the patient’s lifestyle.

The LipoScan® LDL test, as the only system for a comprehensive examination of the lipoprotein spectrum, can create a realistic profile of the patient and thus determine the expected development of cardiovascular diseases in the future. The LipoScan® LDL System is intended for the measurement of lipoprotein cholesterol (for lipoprotein fractions and subfractions from VLDL to HDL) in serum or fasting plasma with a total cholesterol concentration ≥100 mg/dl.

The clear benefit of the LDL LipoScan® system can be seen in the identification and quantification of atherogenic lipoproteins: IDLC, IDLB, and especially in the identification of the so-called small dense LDL (subpopulations LDL3, LDL4, LDL5, LDL6, LDL7), which represent a strongly atherogenic part of the lipoprotein spectrum. The increased concentration of small dense LDL in the plasma represents a serious risk of premature development of coronary and cerebral atherosclerosis with all its fatal consequences (acute myocardial infarction, sudden stroke, etc).

The early diagnosis of these strongly atherogenic lipoprotein subpopulations means a fundamental discovery in the diagnosis, and therapeutic strategies, but also in the prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular system.

The LipoScan® is intended for anyone with at least two of the following risk factors, some of which may be affected:

  • Increased age. Up to 84% of people who are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease are over 65
  • Gender. Men (45 and over) have a higher risk of heart attack than women (55 and over)
  • Heredity. Family history of premature heart disease (father or brother affected before the age of 55, mother or sister before the age of 65)
  • High cholesterol (high serum total cholesterol and high "bad" LDL cholesterol)
  • Low HDL "good" cholesterol
  • High blood pressure, higher than 140/90 mmHg
  • Diabetes. If a person is diabetic, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is high. In these patients, it is necessary to lower cholesterol values under medical supervision as in patients with cardiovascular disease, to reduce the high risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Smoking. Smokers or non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased risk of heart disease
  • Physical inactivity. Sedentary life, lack of physical activity
  • Obesity and Overweight. Overweight is defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI) in the range of 25 - 29.9, obesity is defined if the BMI is greater than 30
  • Excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can increase blood pressure, cause heart failure, and lead to stroke. It can also lead to elevated triglycerides, cancer, or other diseases, and cause irregular heartbeat. It contributes to obesity, alcoholism, suicides, and accidents.
  • Stress. Scientists have noted the relationship between the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stress in a person's life, lifestyle, and socioeconomic status. All these factors can influence and exacerbate risk factors. People under stress may overeat, start smoking, or smoke more than they would normally smoke.
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