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Cholesterol, LDL

Item Value
Approval req'd? No
Available Stat? No
Test code LDL
Test group Cholesterol
Performed by Parnassus, Mission Bay & Mt. Zion Chemistry
In House Availability Test available 24 hours per day 7 days per week
Method Calculated (Friedewald formula)
Container type Gold top or Light Green top
Amount to Collect 3 mL blood
Sample type Serum or plasma
Preferred volume 1.5 mL serum or plasma
Min. Volume 1 mL serum or plasma
Units mg/dL
Normal range Total Cholesterol

Children and Adolescents (< 20 y/o):
Acceptable < 170 mg/dL
Borderline 170-199 mg/dL
High > 199 mg/dL

Adults (≥ 20 y/o):
Desirable < 200 mg/dL
Borderline 200-239 mg/dL
High > 239 mg/dL

HDL Cholesterol:

Acceptable > 39 mg/dL
Higher risk < 40 mg/dL
Lower risk > 59 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol

Children and Adolescents (< 20 y/o):
Acceptable < 110 mg/dL
Borderline high 110-129 mg/dL
High > 129 mg/dL

Adults: (≥ 20 y/o):
Optimal < 100 mg/dL
Near or above optimal 100-129 mg/dL
Borderline high-risk 130-159 mg/dL
High-risk 160-189 mg/dL
Very high-risk > 189 mg/dL

Total Cholesterol:HDL Cholesterol ratio:

Desirable < 6.0

Non-HDL Cholesterol values for adults (> 19 y/o):

Optimal < 130 mg/dL
Near or above optimal < 160 mg/dL
Borderline high-risk 160-189 mg/dL
High-risk > 189 mg/dL
Very high-risk > 219 mg/dL


Desirable (if fasting sample) < 150 mg/dL
Desirable (if not fasting sample) < 200 mg/dL

If non-fasting sample is 200 mg/dL or more, testing on fasting sample is recommended

Risk classifications based on combination of NCEP-ATPIII guidelines and American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines, 2013
Synonyms low density lipoprotein; LDL cholesterol; Coronary risk panel; lipid panel
Stability Room temperature 8 hours, refrigerated 2 days, frozen at -20C 1 week
Additional information To convert mg/dL to mmol/L (SI units) multiply by 0.0259.

LDL cholesterol is calculated from the formula: Total cholesterol-(HDL cholest. + Triglycerides/5). THIS ESTIMATE IS NOT RELIABLE IF TRIGLYCERIDES EXCEED 400 mg/dL, at which level the calculation of LDL cholesterol is suppressed and an explanatory comment is appended. To obtain a more reliable estimate of LDL cholesterol in this situation, request sendout testing for direct LDL assay.

The strict requirement of a fasting sample for lipid analysis is no longer considered necessary by many authorities. Changes in CV risk management guidelines, and the results of studies comparing fasting to non-fasting lipid levels, indicate that fasting samples need not be routinely required.
CPT coding 80061
LOINC code 13457-7
Last Updated 7/24/2017 4:50:55 PM
Entry Number 194
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