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High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol

Test ID: A879

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Cholesterol carried by HDL is considered “good” cholesterol. HDL collects cholesterol from around the body, and delivers it to the liver for recycling or excretion. HDL also carries cholesterol to other organs, where it is used to produce hormones. Low HDL cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease, independent of other risk factors associated with heart disease.



How to order a test


  • HDL Cholesterol
  • HDLC

What is Included?

Measurement of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels in a blood sample by accelerator selective detergent 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

  • Follow a normal diet for a week prior to specimen collection.
  • Avoid taking any drugs for 3–4 weeks prior to specimen collection if possible.
  • No fasting is necessary.

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 HDL cholesterol levels in a blood sample for the evaluation of cardiac health and the risk of coronary heart disease.


  • 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.
  • Abnormal liver function can affect lipid metabolism and HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Elevated concentrations of N-acetyl-L-cysteine may lead to falsely low HDL levels in this assay.


Accelerator selective detergent (Alinity c Ultra HDL assay)

Reference Intervals

  Range (mg/dL)
Major risk factor for heart disease < 40
Negative risk factor for heart disease ≥ 60

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