A lipid panel is a blood test that measures Reference lipids Opens New Window—fats and fatty substances used as a source of energy by your body. Lipids include Reference cholesterol Opens New Window, Reference triglycerides Opens New Window, Reference high-density lipoprotein (HDL) Opens New Window, and Reference low-density lipoprotein (LDL) Opens New Window.
This panel measures:
- Total cholesterol level.
- Triglyceride level.
- HDL cholesterol level. This is the "good" cholesterol.
- LDL cholesterol level. This is the "bad" cholesterol.
Other measurements that may be done for a lipid panel include:
- Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol level.
- The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL.
- The ratio of LDL to HDL.
Lipids are found in your blood and are stored in tissues. They are an important part of cells, and they help keep your body working normally. Reference Lipid disorders Opens New Window, such as high cholesterol, may lead to life-threatening illnesses, such as Reference coronary artery disease (CAD) Opens New Window, Reference heart attack Opens New Window, or Reference stroke Opens New Window.
Your doctor may order a lipid panel as part of a regular health examination. Your doctor may use the results of this test to prevent, check on, or diagnose a medical condition.
You usually need to avoid eating for 10 to 12 hours before you have this blood test. You may drink water and take medicines your doctor prescribed during this time. But avoid drinking liquids other than water.
If your doctor finds a lipid disorder, treatment may be started to help lower your blood lipid levels. Your treatment could include medicines, diet changes, weight loss, and exercise.
For more information, see the topic Reference Cholesterol and Triglyceride Tests.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 13, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Carl Orringer, MD - Cardiology, Clinical Lipidology