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The Scan Clinic London East,
635A Cranbrook Road,
Gants Hill IG2 6SX
Call us on:
0203 904 7706
Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm
Biomarkers Included with the Cardiovascular Risk blood test
Scroll down for more information about each biomarker
Lp-PLA2 (PLAC Test)
CRP (High Sensitivity – hsCRP)
About the Cardiovascular Risk blood test
This test should help to identify hidden risk of cardiovascular event that might be missed by more conventional risk factors (eg cholesterol levles, blood pressure, family and smoking history).
High levels are indicative of increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Imaging tests whilst able to assess the anatomical state of blood vessels, cannot identify plaque that is vulnerable to rupture
What is the PLAC Test
The PLAC test measures the amount of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase (Lp_PLA2) in blood. Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme primarily associated with low density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL carries Lp-PLA2 to the coronary artery walls where it activates an inflammatory response. If present, this causes plaque to become more prone to rupture. Because this enzyme is associated with causing inflammation of coronary artery walls, high levels of Lp-PLA2 would therefore seem to indicate an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Given that the majority of heart attacks and strokes are caused by plaque rupture and thrombosis, individuals with high levels or Lp-PLA2 might benefit from more aggressive management with lipid lowering agents, therapeutic intervention and/or lifestyle changes.
Traditional inflammatory markers, such as hsCRP, and CRP, whilst recognised as being useful systemic inflammatory markers are not as sensitive for identifying inflammation of the coronary artery walls. As a result, the PLAC test, which is measuring levels of Lp_PLA2, serves as a specific independent coronary marker.
- Lp-PLA2 is independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors
- Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme produced in the plaque and its measurement is therefore more specific than other inflammatory markers.
- Increases in Lp-PLA2 levels are not caused by traditional risk factors.
- Imaging tests whilst able to assess the anatomical stat of blood vessels, cannot identify plaque that is vulnerable to rupture.
Lp-PLA2 levels should help to identify hidden risk of cardiovascular event that might be missed by more conventional risk factors (e.g. cholesterol levels, blood pressure, family and smoking history). Lipid levels alone cannot provide a great deal of information on the status of the artery wall whereas Lp-PLA2 is a direct measure of artery wall enzyme activity, independent of other cardiovascular markers. It is intended that the PLAC test should replace blood lipid testing or other traditional risk factors identified for cardiovascular disease. It provides an additional independent risk marker.
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Our mission of better quality healthcare for everyone is at the heart of everything we do and drives us to do the best we can for each and every patient that we see. Our team of experts have years of experience and are fully registered and regulated meaning you are in safe hands with us.
Biomarker information for Cardiovascular Risk blood test
The enzyme lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) plays a role in the inflammation of blood vessels, promoting the build up of plaque in the coronary arteries. Lp-PLA2 is a risk marker for cardiovascular disease and because it is produced in the plaque itself, Lp-PLA2 is thought to be more sensitive at assessing cardiovascular disease risk than traditional inflammatory markers, such as CRP.
Cholesterol is an essential fat (lipid) in the body. It has some important functions, including building cell membranes and producing a number of essential hormones such as testosterone and oestradiol. There are a number of different types of cholesterol, but the two main components of total cholesterol are HDL (high density lipoprotein) -“Good” and LDL (low density lipoprotein)- “Bad”.
The total cholesterol result on its own only shows the total amount of both of these components and so even if you have a good amount of total cholesterol, you may have a low amount of good cholesterol and high amount of bad cholesterol therefore its important to review each of these results to understand your cardiovascular health and risks of cardiovascular disease.
The cholesterol/HDL ratio is calculated by dividing your total cholesterol value by your HDL cholesterol level. It is used as a measure of cardiovascular risk because it gives a good insight into the proportion of your total cholesterol which is “good” (i.e. high-density lipoprotein, HDL). If your health check includes advanced cardiovascular risk scoring – QRisk then this value is important and used to help calculate your risk of having a heart attack.
Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) that circulate in the blood. After you eat, your body converts excess calories (whether from fat or carbohydrates) into triglycerides which are then transported to cells to be stored as fat. Your body then releases triglycerides when required for energy.
Apolipoprotein A1, or ApoA1 is a major protein that is a component of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL cholesterol. It helps clear cholesterol from the blood by removing cholesterol from organs and tissues to be destroyed by the liver.
Apolipoprotein B, or ApoB is the primary apolipoprotein of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or bad cholesterol). It is responsible for carrying cholesterol to tissues.
Fibrinogen is a protein that helps with blood clotting. Your healthcare provider may order this test if you experience excessive bleeding. If you have low fibrinogen, you may have intravenous (IV) treatments to increase your levels.
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an inflammation marker used to assess whether there is inflammation in the body – it does not identify where the inflammation is located. High Sensitivity CRP (CRP-hs) is a test used to detect low-level inflammation thought to damage blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. When you suffer a serious injury or infection you experience significant inflammation around the site of injury – such as the swelling around a twisted ankle. Any injury like this will cause your CRP-hs to rise.
What does the Cardiovascular Risk blood test involve?
This blood test is just like a standard blood test.
You will be asked to uncover you left or right arm and suitable vein is found. A tourniquet will be placed and tightened around your upper arm allowing the veins to swell and a needle will be placed into your vein. A small quantity of blood is then drawn into tubes. Once the procedure is complete a small plaster will be placed onto the site which can be removed after a few hours.
How do I prepare
- The blood test requires access to the area of interest, therefore, it is recommended to wear loose clothing to facilitate this process.
- No specific preparation is required for this scan.
- We will require details of your GP / Health Care Professional, which may be requested before or at the time of the scan.
- Blood results require interpretation. All results should be interpreted by your regular health care professional / GP.