Does this test have other names?
ApoB100, Apolipoprotein B, ApoB, Apolipoprotein (B)
What is this test?
This test measures the amount of a certain type of cholesterol called apolipoprotein B-100 (ApoB) in your blood. ApoB is the main protein found in the low-density lipoproteins (LDL). LDL cholesterol is also called "bad" cholesterol because high levels of it can damage your heart and arteries.
The ApoB test helps your healthcare provider figure out your risk for cardiovascular disease. This is a disease that affects your heart and blood vessels.
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test if you have a family history of heart problems. You may also need this test if you already have had heart problems such as a heart attack. Your healthcare provider may also order this test if you have a high level of fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides, in your blood. High levels of fats may raise your risk for heart problems.
This test is also sometimes used to see how well treatment is working to bring down high levels of fat in your blood.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also order a test for total cholesterol called a lipid profile. This test measures your blood levels of LDL cholesterol, HDL ("good") cholesterol, and triglycerides. Comparing the percentages gives your provider a better idea of your heart health.
Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests for other markers that help see if you are at risk for heart disease.
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.
Results are given in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Normal levels of Apo B-100 in adults are less than 100 mg/dL. Your risk is high if you have a result greater than 120 mg/dL.
High levels of Apo B may mean that you have a higher than normal risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.
Does this test pose any risks?
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
What might affect my test results?
Your test may be affected by:
Your eating habits, especially if your diet is high in fat
Taking medicines to lower cholesterol, such as statins
Having certain chronic diseases such as diabetes
How do I get ready for this test?
Usually you can't eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours before the test. Ask your healthcare provider how long you need to fast and whether you need to stop taking any medicines before the test. Be sure your provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.
- Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RN
- Sather, Rita, RN