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Test Code LABLDLCM LDL Cholesterol (Beta-Quantification), Serum

Important Note

Order this test if the patient's triglyceride level is >1300 mg/dL.

Additional Codes

Test Name in EPIC EPIC Test Code Mnemonic Mayo Test ID


Reporting Name

LDL Cholesterol (Beta-Quant), S

Useful For

Evaluation of cardiovascular risk


Assessment of low-density lipoprotein C (LDL-C) in patients with hypertriglyceridemia, type III hyperlipoproteinemia/dysbetalipoproteinemia, or when an accurate gold standard determination of LDL-C is required


Diagnosis of familial hypobetalipoproteinemia and abetalipoproteinemia

Method Name

Ultracentrifugation/Selective Precipitation/Enzymatic Colorimetry (Beta-Quantification)

Performing Laboratory

Mayo Medical Laboratories in Rochester

Specimen Type


Specimen Required

Patient Preparation: Patient must not consume any alcohol for 24 hours before the specimen is drawn.


Preferred: Red top

Acceptable: Serum gel

Specimen Volume: 3 mL

Additional Information: Indicate patient's age and sex.

Specimen Minimum Volume

<2 years: 1 mL; ≥2 years: 2 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time
Serum Refrigerated (preferred) 10 days

Reject Due To


Mild OK; Gross reject


Mild OK; Gross OK


Mild OK; Gross reject



Reference Values

The National Lipid Association and the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) have set the following guidelines for LDL-C in adults (ages 18 years and up):

Desirable: <100 mg/dL

Above Desirable: 100-129 mg/dL

Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL

High: 160-189 mg/dL

Very high: ≥190 mg/dL


The Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents has set the following guidelines for LDL-C in children and adolescents (ages 2-17 years):

Acceptable: <110 mg/dL

Borderline high: 110-129 mg/dL

High: ≥130 mg/dL

Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Monday through Thursday, Saturday; 3 p.m. 

CPT Code Information

83701-Lipoprotein, blood; high resolution fractionation and quantitation of lipoproteins including lipoprotein subclasses when performed (eg, electrophoresis, ultracentrifugation)

LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
LDLD LDL Cholesterol (Beta-Quant), S 18261-8


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
LDLC LDL Chol (Beta-Quantification), S 18261-8


The optimal concentration for LDL cholesterol in primary prevention depends on individual patient risk. Risk factors include: family history of coronary heart disease (CHD), hypertension, cigarette smoking, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and low HDL cholesterol, among others. Consideration of drug treatment is recommended for patients with LDL cholesterol >190 mg/dL.


Values <80 mg/dL indicate hypobetalipoproteinemia. Complications due to fat malabsorption may be present in affected individuals.


Undetectable LDL-C is highly suggestive of abetalipoproteinemia. Related polyneuropathy may exist in affected individuals.


It is preferable but not required that the patients fast for 12 to 14 hours before the blood is drawn. The patient can take water and prescription drugs if necessary. Alcohol should be avoided for at least 24 hours before specimen draw.


Result can be falsely decreased in patients with elevated levels of N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI)-a metabolite of acetaminophen), N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and metamizole.

Method Description

Ultracentrifugation is performed to remove chylomicrons and very low-density lipoproteins present in the supernatant. Separation of low-density lipoprotein particles is achieved via selective precipitation from high-density lipoprotein. Cholesterol is quantitated by an enzymatic, colorimetric method.(Ellefson RD, LR, Hodgson PA, Weidman, WH: Cholesterol and triglycerides in serum lipoproteins of young persons in Rochester, Minnesota. Mayo Clinic Proc 1978;53:307-320; Warnick GR, Benderson J, Albers JJ: Dextran sulfate-Mg2+precipitation procedure for quantitation of high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. Clin Chem 1982;28[6]:1379-1388)

Analytic Time

2 days

Specimen Retention Time

7 days

Clinical Information

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is widely recognized as an established cardiovascular risk marker predicated on results from numerous clinical trials that demonstrate the ability of LDL-C to independently predict development and progression of coronary heart disease. In the United States, LDL-C remains the primary focus for cardiovascular risk assessment and evaluation of pharmacologic effectiveness. There have been considerable educational efforts invested and directed towards physicians, laboratorians, allied health staff, and the general public regarding LDL-C and strategies to lower LDL-C for reduction of cardiovascular risk.


Low-density lipoproteins are a heterogeneous population of lipid particles classically defined as having a density of 1.006 to 1.063 kg/L obtained by preparative ultracentrifugation. The gold standard beta-quantification (beta-quant or BQ) method combines ultracentrifugation with precipitation and yields a collective quantitative measurement of LDL-C, intermediate-density lipoprotein cholesterol (IDL-C), and lipoprotein(a) (Lp[a]) cholesterol. In practice, LDL-C is most commonly reported using the Friedewald equation (LDL-C=TC-HDL-TG/5).


Importantly, there are significant shortcomings and limitations to the Friedewald equation. Calculated LDL-C is not accurate in patients who are nonfasting, have triglycerides greater than 400 mg/dL, or have type III hyperlipoproteinemia. The equation is particularly inaccurate once the triglycerides are above 200 mg/dL or when LDL-C is <70 mg/dL.


Extremely low concentrations of LDL-C are associated with 2 genetic disorders; abetalipoproteinemia and hypobetalipoproteinemia. In both cases individuals will have very low total cholesterol and diminished or absent LDL-C, apolipoprotein B (apoB) (APLB / Apolipoprotein B, Plasma) and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C). Patients may exhibit clinical signs and symptoms of polyneuropathy, intestinal fat malabsorption, hepatosteatosis, and fat soluble vitamin deficiencies (VAE / Vitamin A and Vitamin E, Serum).

Test Classification

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Cardiovascular Test Request Form (T724) with the specimen (