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Which Lab Test Can Detect Coronary Heart Disease?

The comprehensive wellness panel focuses on biomarkers that can show if someone has coronary heart disease. Triglycerides and cholesterol are measured by the lipid panel to find out the risks of having high LDL and low HDL. HS CRP can find inflammation, which can be a sign of atherosclerosis even if your cholesterol levels are normal.1 Apolipoprotein B directly quantifies LDL particles, offering a more accurate evaluation of the risk.2 Lipoprotein(a) is a biomarker that reflects genetic predisposition to certain risk factors, which are not influenced by changes in lifestyle. With these tests, we can find problems quickly and take steps to lower the chance of coronary heart disease.

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Coronary heart disease (CHD), a leading cause of sickness and death worldwide, requires lab tests to diagnose and treat. Comprehensive screenings allow healthcare practitioners to identify at-risk patients and intervene to avert severe cardiovascular events. Lipid panels, HS CRP, Apolipoprotein B, Lipoprotein(a), and homocysteine levels reveal lipid profiles, inflammation, genetic predispositions, and metabolic abnormalities.

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These lab tests allow doctors to tailor treatment approaches to each patient, improving results and reducing coronary heart disease’s effect.

Comprehensive Wellness Panel Lab Test

The comprehensive wellness panel lab test consists of a series of subtests that can detect a variety of conditions, and it contains a few that are directly related to coronary heart disease.

By looking at the different kinds of cholesterol and fats in the blood, the lipid panel is a very important tool for finding coronary heart disease (CHD). It checks different parts of cholesterol, like triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. It’s especially bad to have a lot of LDL cholesterol because it tends to oxidize and build up in the walls of our arteries, which makes plaques. This process, called atherosclerosis, makes the arteries smaller and thicker, which makes heart attacks and other heart problems more likely.

The lipid panel looks at a person’s overall cardiovascular risk by checking their lipid levels. This lets doctors catch problems early and fix them to lower the chance of coronary heart disease.

A predictor for CHD is HS CRP, which stands for High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein. The liver produces C-reactive protein when there is inflammation, which is what it checks for. Because artery plaques form, it is very important to understand the role of inflammation in the development and spread of atherosclerosis.3 You should know that these plaques can break, which can lead to blood clots that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

High amounts of HS CRP show long-lasting, mild inflammation, which raises the risk of heart problems. The high-sensitivity form of the CRP test may be able to find even small increases in CRP, which makes figuring out the risk of heart disease better. Studies show that rising HS CRP levels may increase the chance of CHD even if cholesterol levels are normal.4

ApoB is needed for LDL, which is also known as “bad cholesterol.” Since each LDL particle has one ApoB molecule inside it, ApoB directly checks the number of LDL particles in the blood. ApoB levels are linked to coronary heart disease (CHD) because they raise the chance that LDL particles will get into artery walls and form plaque.5

When it comes to figuring out risk, ApoB readings are more accurate than lipid screens. High ApoB levels are a sign of atherosclerotic particles, which can cause plaque and damage the endothelium covering. Higher ApoB levels can lead to earlier and more aggressive steps to lower the chance of heart disease, such as making changes to your lifestyle, taking medicine, or doing both.

The lipoprotein(a), also called Lp(a), has the same structure as LDL. There is an LDL-like particle and an apolipoprotein(a) in the structure. High Lp(a) levels raise the chance of coronary heart disease, no matter what other lipid tests show.6

According to research, each person’s Lp(a) levels are very different and depend on their genes.7 Finding higher amounts of Lp(a) helps doctors figure out a person’s risk of heart disease and make sure they get the right treatment. This might require strict control of other risk factors that can be changed, like LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and giving up smoking. Therapy that focuses on LP(a) can be helpful at times.

High levels of homocysteine in the blood can indicate heart issues. The metabolism of B6, B12, and folic acid usually breaks down homocysteine. These vitamins can help these processes happen, but if they are slowed down, homocysteine levels can rise, which is known as hyperhomocysteinemia.

High amounts of homocysteine raise the chance of heart diseases like coronary heart disease (CHD) for a number of reasons.8 First, high homocysteine levels can hurt the endothelium covering the artery, which protects it. Damage to the walls of arteries makes it more likely for cholesterol to build up, which raises the risk of arterial plaques. High amounts of homocysteine also raise oxidative stress and inflammation in the arterial system, which can make atherosclerosis worse.9

Homocysteine also makes blood clot more easily, which is not good. It is more likely that you will get thrombosis, which can block coronary arteries and lead to heart problems. Heart disease (CHD) and other heart problems are more likely to happen in people whose homocysteine amounts are even slightly higher.

Final Thoughts

Several lab tests are needed to diagnose coronary heart disease. Lipid panels, HS CRP, Apolipoprotein B, Lipoprotein(a), and homocysteine levels reveal CHD risk factors and processes. These tests can help healthcare practitioners identify at-risk patients and prevent health complications by adding them to regular examinations. This comprehensive approach promotes early identification and allows for individualized treatment regimens, improving patient outcomes and reducing coronary heart disease.

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Lab Testing - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to do lab tests occasionally?

It is important to do lab tests occasionally because they can provide valuable information about an individual's health and help to identify potential health issues early on. Lab tests can measure a wide range of factors, including blood count, cholesterol levels, liver and kidney function, and hormone levels, and can provide insight into an individual's overall health and wellness. Additionally, lab tests can help to diagnose and monitor the progression of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and can help to identify any potential health risks or concerns. By doing lab tests occasionally, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of potential health problems in the future.

What does a routine blood test cover?

A routine blood test is used to check for a range of things, including your blood count and the levels of certain chemicals and substances in your blood. Blood tests can also be used to check how well certain organs, such as your liver and kidneys, are functioning.

How is a blood sample collected for lab testing?

A blood sample for lab testing is typically collected through a process called venipuncture, which involves inserting a small needle into a vein to draw blood. This is usually done on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

What is the cost of a lab test?

In general, the cost of a lab test can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It is always best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a lab test.

Read More: Lab Testing FAQ

References

[1] Banait T, Wanjari A, Danade V, Banait S, Jain J. Role of High-Sensitivity C-reactive Protein (Hs-CRP) in Non-communicable Diseases: A Review. Cureus. 2022 Oct 12;14(10):e30225. doi: 10.7759/cureus.30225. PMID: 36381804; PMCID: PMC9650935.;

[2] Behbodikhah J, Ahmed S, Elyasi A, Kasselman LJ, De Leon J, Glass AD, Reiss AB. Apolipoprotein B and Cardiovascular Disease: Biomarker and Potential Therapeutic Target. Metabolites. 2021 Oct 8;11(10):690. doi: 10.3390/metabo11100690. PMID: 34677405; PMCID: PMC8540246.;

[3] Gusev E, Sarapultsev A. Atherosclerosis and Inflammation: Insights from the Theory of General Pathological Processes. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Apr 26;24(9):7910. doi: 10.3390/ijms24097910. PMID: 37175617; PMCID: PMC10178362.;

[4] Habib SS, A Al Masri A. Relationship of high sensitivity C-reactive protein with presence and severity of coronary artery disease. Pak J Med Sci. 2013 Nov;29(6):1425-9. doi: 10.12669/pjms.296.3302. PMID: 24550967; PMCID: PMC3905368.;

[5] Behbodikhah J, Ahmed S, Elyasi A, Kasselman LJ, De Leon J, Glass AD, Reiss AB. Apolipoprotein B and Cardiovascular Disease: Biomarker and Potential Therapeutic Target. Metabolites. 2021 Oct 8;11(10):690. doi: 10.3390/metabo11100690. PMID: 34677405; PMCID: PMC8540246.;

[6] Mellwig KP, Horstkotte D, van Buuren F. Lipoprotein (a) and coronary heart disease - is there an efficient secondary prevention? Clin Res Cardiol Suppl. 2017 Mar;12(Suppl 1):18-21. doi: 10.1007/s11789-017-0088-x. PMID: 28233270; PMCID: PMC5352755.;

[7] Kronenberg F. Human Genetics and the Causal Role of Lipoprotein(a) for Various Diseases. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2016 Feb;30(1):87-100. doi: 10.1007/s10557-016-6648-3. PMID: 26896185; PMCID: PMC4789197.;

[8] Ganguly P, Alam SF. Role of homocysteine in the development of cardiovascular disease. Nutr J. 2015 Jan 10;14:6. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-14-6. PMID: 25577237; PMCID: PMC4326479.;

[9] Papatheodorou L, Weiss N. Vascular oxidant stress and inflammation in hyperhomocysteinemia. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2007 Nov;9(11):1941-58. doi: 10.1089/ars.2007.1750. PMID: 17822365.;