VLDL test

  • Definition

    VLDL stands for very low density lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are substances made of cholesterol, triglycerides, and proteins. They move cholesterol, triglycerides, and other lipids to different parts of the body.

    There are three major types of lipoproteins. VLDL contains the highest amount of triglycerides. VLDL is considered a type of bad cholesterol, because it helps cholesterol build up on the walls of arteries.

    This article discusses the laboratory test to measure the amount of VLDL in your blood.

    See also:

    • HDL test
    • LDL test
    • Total cholesterol test
    • High blood cholesterol and triglycerides

    Alternative Names

    Very low density lipoprotein test

    How the test is performed

    Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.

    Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm.

    Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.

    In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin and make it bleed. The blood collects into a small glass tube called a pipette, or onto a slide or test strip. A bandage may be placed over the area if there is any bleeding.

    How to prepare for the test

    How the test will feel

    When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

    Why the test is performed

    Your doctor may order this test to determine your risk of heart disease. Increased levels of VLDL are linked to atherosclerosis, which can lead to coronary heart disease.

    This test may be included in a coronary risk profile.