Chemical Pathology


  • Lipoprotein (a) (Lp (a)) is a lipoprotein consisting of a lipid rich core surrounded by two proteins, apolipoprotein B-100 and apolipoprotein (a).
  • Lp (a) may be requested with other lipid tests in patients who have developed cardiovascular disease at a young age or who have a family history of premature heart disease to determine whether the concentration of Lp(a) is contributing to the patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lp (a) levels are largely genetically determined.
  • Although some specialist doctors occasionally request Lp(a), it is not a routinely used test and is currently not recommended for widespread testing.


Lipoprotein (a) requests are only available to GHNHSFT lipid clinic consultants and any queries should be referred to them.

Sample requirements

For adults, 5 ml of blood taken into a narrow plain gold top gel tube.

5ml gold tube


Do not store. Send to the laboratory at room temperature on the day of venepuncture. Samples must be centrifuged and serum separated from red cells in less than 12 hours.

Required information

Relevant clinical details including the reason for the request, fasting state, any family history, current lipid medication and date and time of sample.

Turnaround times

Samples are sent for analysis to Bristol Royal Infirmary and results are expected back within 7 working days.

Reference ranges

Cardiovascular risk increases with Lp(a) >75 nmol/L.

Values >125 nmol/L are designated high risk by the EAS/ESC guidelines.

Further information

Lab Tests OnLine

Page last updated: 28/09/2022