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Apolipoprotein B-100

Does this test have other names?

ApoB100, Apolipoprotein B, ApoB, Apolipoprotein (B)

What is this test?

This test measures the amount of a certain type of cholesterol called apolipoprotein B-100 (ApoB) in your blood. ApoB is the main protein found in the low-density lipoproteins (LDL). LDL cholesterol is also called "bad" cholesterol because high levels of it can damage your heart and arteries.

The ApoB test helps your healthcare provider figure out your risk for cardiovascular disease. This is a disease that affects your heart and blood vessels.

Why do I need this test?

You may need this test if you have a family history of heart problems. You may also need this test if you already have had heart problems such as a heart attack. Your healthcare provider may also order this test if you have a high level of fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides, in your blood. High levels of fats may raise your risk for heart problems.

This test is also sometimes used to see how well treatment is working to bring down high levels of fat in your blood.

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your healthcare provider may also order a test for total cholesterol called a lipid profile. This test measures your blood levels of LDL cholesterol, HDL ("good") cholesterol, and triglycerides. Comparing the percentages gives your provider a better idea of your heart health.

Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests for other markers that help see if you are at risk for heart disease.

What do my test results mean?

Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you. 

Results are given in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Normal levels of Apo B-100 in adults are less than 100 mg/dL. Your risk is high if you have a result greater than 120 mg/dL.

High levels of Apo B may mean that you have a higher than normal risk of developing cardiovascular disease. An Apo A test (associated with "good" cholesterol) may also be done with the apo B test. The ratio of the apo A results and the apo B results is sometimes used as an alternative to a total cholesterol ratio to evaluate your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. 

How is this test done?

The test is done with a blood sample. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein in your arm or hand. 

Does this test pose any risks?

Having a blood test with a needle carries some risks. These include bleeding, infection, bruising, and feeling lightheaded. When the needle pricks your arm or hand, you may feel a slight sting or pain. Afterward, the site may be sore. 

What might affect my test results?

Your test may be affected by:

  • Your eating habits, especially if your diet is high in fat

  • Taking medicines to lower cholesterol, such as statins

  • Having certain chronic diseases such as diabetes

How do I get ready for this test?

Usually you can't eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours before the test. Ask your healthcare provider how long you need to fast and whether you need to stop taking any medicines before the test. Be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.

Online Medical Reviewer: Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Haldeman-Englert, Chad, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2017
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