High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDLC)

Test ID: 


CPT code:



Alpha-Lipoprotein Cholesterol
HDL Cholesterol
HDL Cholesterol Electrophoresis

Clinical Use:

Monitoring of HDL-cholesterol in serum is of clinical importance since an inverse correlation exists between serum HDL-cholesterol concentrations and the risk of atherosclerotic disease. Elevated HDL-cholesterol concentrations are protective against coronary heart disease, while reduced HDL-cholesterol concentrations, particularly in conjunction with elevated triglycerides, increase the cardiovascular risk.2,3 Strategies have emerged for treating cardiovascular disease by increasing HDL-cholesterol levels.4,5

Test Information:

Total cholesterol and triglycerides are required as well for determination of lipid risk factors for coronary artery disease. These tests with HDL-C and LDL-C are the usual lipid profile. HDL-C is especially apt to be low in male subjects who are obese and sedentary, in those who smoke cigarettes, and in those who have diabetes mellitus. Uremia is also associated with lower HDL-C. Exercise, appropriate diet and moderate ethanol intake increase HDL-C.
HDL-C is useful with cholesterol in forecasting protection against coronary artery disease in the industrialized countries, possible because of ingestion of high fat diets.
Those at least risk for development of coronary arterial disease have low cholesterol, low triglycerides, and high HDL-C.
Factors contributing to decreased HDL-C include:
• Genetic factors: primary hypoalphalipoproteinemia6
• Cigarette smoking
• Obesity7
• Hypertriglyceridemia7
• Lack of exercise
• Steroids − androgens, progestogens, anabolic
• Thiazides
• Beta-adrenergic blockers
• Probucol
• Neomycin

Specimen Type:

Serum (preferred) or plasma

Requested Volume: 

1 mL

Minimum Volume: 

0.5 mL

Container Type: 

Gel-barrier tube, transport tube, green-top (heparin) tube, or lavender-top (EDTA) tube

Patient Preparation: 

Patient should be on a normal diet and maintain a stable weight for a week prior to testing. Any drugs should be discontinued for three to four weeks if possible. Test should not be performed until three months after a myocardial infarction or similar traumatic episode, such as severe infection or inflammation. Fasting is not necessary.


Separate serum or plasma from cells within 45 minutes of collection.

Storage Instructions:

Maintain specimen at room temperature.1

Stability Requirements:



Room temperature

3 days


14 days


14 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x2

Rejection Criteria

Improper labeling

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MCI Diagnostic

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Mon – Sat: 7AM-11PM

Sun: 7AM-3PM

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