Apolipoproteins
(APO)

Alternate Names

  • Apo A-I
  • Apo B
  • Apo A-I/Apo B Ratio
  • Lipoprotein (a)

Apolipoproteins make up the group of the fat-protein components found in blood known as lipoproteins. Better known as LDL (low-density lipoproteins), HDL (high-density lipoproteins), and VLDL (very low-density lipoproteins), measurements of these blood components, as part of a lipid profile, help your doctor determine the amount of cholesterol in your blood vessels and your risk of developing heart disease in the future.

HDL contains large amounts of Apoliprotein A (apo A), and is further broken down in apo A-I, and apo A-II. LDL contains large amounts of Apoliprotein B (apo B), and VLDL contains small amounts of Apo B. Apo B has two forms: apo B-100 and apo B-48. Low blood levels of apo A-I, and high levels of apo B-100 have been linked with an increased risk for the future development of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Lipoprotein (a) [Lp (a) or lipoprotein little a] is made up of apo A and apo B-100. Lp (a) is a malformed chemical that, in its normal form, is important in the breakdown of blood clots. High blood levels of Lp (a) are related to an increased risk for the development of CHD, and this test can be used by itself as a predictor of future heart attack risk.

Other subgroups of apolipoproteins, such as Apo E, are being studied as a possible test for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease (AD) or amyloidosis.

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