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Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol

Test ID: A880

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Cholesterol carried by LDL is considered “bad” cholesterol. LDL deposits excess cholesterol in blood vessel walls, where it accumulates, leading to hardening of the arteries, atherosclerosis, and blood clots. LDL cholesterol levels are often considered to be the best predictor of the risk of heart disease.



How to order a test


  • Direct LDL
  • Direct LDLC
  • Measured LDL

What is Included?

Measurement of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in a blood sample by measured, liquid 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

Fasting is not required

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 LDL 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 LDL cholesterol levels.


Measured, liquid selective detergent (Alinity c Direct LDL assay)

Reference Intervals

  Range (mg/dL)
Optimal < 100
Near or above optimal 100 – 129
Borderline high 130 – 159
High 160 – 189
Very high ≥ 190

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