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Cholesterol, Total

Test ID: A878

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Cholesterol is a waxy type of fat (lipid), which travels around the body in the blood. It is an essential molecule, as it is required for building cells, producing bile for digestion, and making vitamins and hormones. Although it is important to have enough cholesterol, excess cholesterol can cause health complications. High levels of cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) can result in an accumulation in the arteries and plaque formation. This significantly increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.



How to order a test

What is Included?

Measurement of cholesterol levels in a blood sample by enzymatic methodology.

Turnaround Time

1 – 3 business days
The turnaround time is not guaranteed. The average turnaround time is 1 – 3 business days from the date that the sample arrives at the laboratory. Shipping time for the sample is not included. Additional time is required if the case requires confirmatory or reflex testing, or if the sample is insufficient, or if a recollection is required.

Related Documents


Preparation Before Specimen Collection


Specimen Type



50 μL in a microtainer


Microtainer (regular blood tube)

Collection Method

This test requires a blood sample from a finger prick. All supplies for sample collection are provided in the kit.

  1. First wash and dry hands. Warm hands aid in blood collection.
  2. Clean the finger prick site with the alcohol swab and allow to air dry.
  3. Use the provided lancet to puncture the skin in one quick, continuous and deliberate stroke.
  4. Wipe away the first drop of blood.
  5. Massage hand and finger to increase blood flow to the puncture site. Angle arm and hand downwards to facilitate blood collection on the fingertip.
  6. Drip blood into the microtainer tube.
  7. Dispose of all sharps safely and return sample to the laboratory in the provided prepaid return shipping envelope.

NOTES: Avoid squeezing or ‘milking’ the finger excessively. If more blood is required and blood flow stops, perform a second skin puncture on another finger. Do not touch the fingertip.

Specimen Storage

Maintain specimen at temperatures between 2°C and 30°C during storage and transport.

Specimen Stability

Blood samples can be refrigerated or kept at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Causes for Rejection

  • Incorrect or incomplete patient identification
  • Incorrect specimen collection
  • Inappropriate storage and transport conditions
  • Incorrect specimen volume



To measure cholesterol levels in a blood sample for the evaluation of cardiac and liver health, intestinal absorption, and biliary and thyroid function.


  • This report is not intended for use in medico-legal applications. 
  • These results should be interpreted in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical information.
  • Correct specimen collection and handling is required for optimal assay performance. 
  • Interferences from medication or endogenous substances may affect results.
  • Cholesterol may be elevated during pregnancy.


Enzymatic (Alinity c Cholesterol assay)

Reference Intervals

    Range (mg/dL)
Child Desirable < 170
Borderline 170 – 199
High ≥ 200
Adult Desirable < 200
Borderline 200 – 239
High ≥ 240

These reference ranges were obtained from the Alinity c Cholesterol package insert, which follow recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III Report.