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Laboratory Medicine

Test Directory / Cholesterol


Brown clotted serum, gel barrier or lithium heparin

Common AbbreviationsCHO, CHOL
Tube typeBrown clotted serum, gel barrier or lithium heparin
Clinical IndicationTotal cholesterol provides a baseline that indicates whether further investigations should be carried out. The individual predictive value of total cholesterol concentration with regard to coronary risk is low. Cholesterol is mainly transported in two lipoprotein classes (LDL & HDL), both of which play a contradictory role in the pathogenesis of lipid disorders.
Specimen TypeBlood
Sample typeSerum
Minimum Volume0.5mL If requesting more than 10 tests please send an additional brown clotted serum sample.
Special PrecautionsNo special requirements
Stability7 days at 2-8oC
Turnaround TimeInpatient: 4 hours Outpatient/ GP: 24 hours
LaboratoryYork and Scarborough
Reference IntervalTreatment target: <5.0mmol/L (Recommended by the Joint British Society Guidelines)
Limitations Methimazole (antithyroid) can give falsely low results if administered before/ during venepuncture. N-acetyl cysteine / NAPQI (paracetamol overdose) can give falsely low results. Cholesterol cannot be accurately measured in patients with serum bilirubin levels above 130umol/L
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