Last reviewed 01/2018

Initial investigation - measurement of fasting cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In this procedure the patient follows his normal diet for the 2 weeks preceding the test and any drugs that may affect lipid metabolism are withdrawn. Note also that the results obtained may be influenced by acute illness and the test should not be performed in period from 24 hrs to 6 months following major stress e.g. MI.

A more detailed lipid profile investigation provides more information (total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, Total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio).

Examination of stored serum

  • raised VLDL - causes a diffuse milky appearance
  • chylomicronaemia - creamy upper layer with clear plasma underneath

Investigations to exclude secondary causes of hyperlipidaemia - FBC, ESR, LFTs, TFTs, g