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What is an Apolipoprotein-B(APO-B) test?
Apolipoprotein B also known as Apolipoprotein B-100 or APO-B is a protein that is involved in the metabolism of lipids. It is an essential component of many lipoproteins that are involved in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Atherosclerosis can be defined as chronic inflammation in the arterial wall.
APO-B test measures the amount of apolipoprotein-B in the blood.
Apolipoprotein associates with lipids to transport them throughout the bloodstream. APO-B occurs in 2 main forms, apo-B 48 and apo-B 100. Apo-B 48 is produced mainly by the small intestine while Apo-B 100 is the apolipoprotein present in lipoproteins produced by the liver. Apo-B 48 is primarily present in chylomicrons.
Apo-B 100 levels tend to mirror LDL-C levels. Many doctors think that apo-B levels may eventually prove to be a better indicator of risk of cardiovascular disease than LDL-C.
When is it suggested?
Apo-B test can be measured, along with an apo A-I or other lipid tests, when a doctor is trying to evaluate someone’s risk of developing CVD and when a person has a personal or family history of heart disorder and abnormal lipid levels, especially when the person has significantly elevated triglyceride levels.
Sometimes apo B is also suggested to monitor a person who is undergoing treatment for high cholesterol.
How is the test used?
The apolipoprotein-B test is used, along with other lipid tests, to help conclude an individual’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease(CVD).
This test may also be suggested if a person has a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol and triglycerides. It may also be tested, along with other tests, to help diagnose the cause of abnormal lipid levels, primarily when someone has increased triglyceride levels.
The doctor may also ask this test to monitor the effectiveness of lipid treatment as an alternative to non-HDL-C.
What does the APO-B test result mean?
Increased levels of APO-B correspond to elevated levels of LDL-C and non-HDL-C. It is also correlated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. An increased level may be due to a high-fat diet or decreased clearing of LDL from the blood.
Underlying conditions or other factors may cause abnormal levels of APO-B. Elevated levels of apo-B are seen, for example, in:
Apo-B levels may decline with any condition that affects lipoprotein production or affect its synthesis and packaging in the liver. Lower levels of APO-B are seen with secondary causes like: