WellSpan Home

Health Library

Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2

Does this test have other names?


What is this test?

This test looks for a specific lipoprotein, Lp-PLA2, in your blood. The test is used to help predict your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Lipids are fats in your blood. Lipoproteins are combinations of fats and proteins that carry the fats in your bloodstream. If you have Lp-PLA2 in your blood, you may have fatty deposits in your arteries that are at risk of rupturing and causing heart disease or stroke.

This test may help your healthcare provider figure out what treatments would be best for you to prevent a stroke. Things that can be done to prevent problems include taking medicines that lower lipid levels and making lifestyle changes.

New research suggests that Lp-PLA2 may better show who is at risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke than HDL ("good) cholesterol, LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol.

Why do I need this test?

You might have this test if you are at moderate or high risk for cardiovascular disease or stroke.

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your healthcare provider may also order a C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test. CRP also can show inflammation that could lead to heart disease or stroke.

Your provider also might order these tests to check the levels of different fats in your blood:

  • Cholesterol

  • Triglycerides

  • Apoliproteins, which are lipoproteins other than Lp-PLA2

What do my test results mean?

Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.

Results are given in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). The normal range for Lp-PLA2 is less than 200 ng/mL.

If your results are higher, you may have inflammation in your arteries. When both your CRP and your Lp-PLA2 are higher, you may be at greater risk of having a stroke.

How is this test done?

The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.

Does this test pose any risks?

Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.

What might affect my test results?

Certain medicines can affect your results. These include beta blockers and steroids. Binge eating before the test can also affect your results.

How do I get ready for this test?

You will need to not eat or drink anything but water for 12 to 14 hours before this test. In addition, 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. 

Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2 - WellSpan Health

Author: Orenstein, Beth W
Online Medical Reviewer: Taylor, Wanda L, RN, PhD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ziegler, Olivia Walton, MS, PA-C
Last Review Date: 2015-08-28T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2015-09-18T00:00:00
Published Date: 2015-09-18T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2012-07-11T00:00:00
© 2016 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.