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Analyzers Offer Point-of-Care Lipid Panels


Plasma lipids, comprised of triglycerides and cholesterols, vary with genetic predisposition, weight, diet and physical activity. All of these factors contribute to serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels and highly correlate with risk of untoward vascular and cardiac events. Perhaps no other commonly determined medical laboratory values are so much in the public eye as serum levels of good, bad, and total cholesterol, making the discussion of plasma lipid test results an opportunity for effective patient counseling and therapeutic intervention.

As with so many other diagnostic procedures that had previously been performed by clinical laboratories, kits and devices to determine LDL, HDL, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels now offer inexpensive, accurate, reimbursable, easily used and rapidly performed testing methods. Some of these products are CLIA-waived, making their use a practical enhancement of care for point-of-care settings like physician offices and clinics.

The CLIA-waived serum sample analyzers are highly flexible, incorporating glucose testing with various lipid panels and, in one device, liver function assessment as well.

Cholestech Corporation, Hayward, Calif., produces the Cholestech LDX System that uses patented, technology to measure a range of lab values from a fingerstick blood sample. Result processing takes about five minutes, according to the company.

Depending on the test cassette selected, testing can be performed for the following combinations: Total Cholesterol; Total Cholesterol and Glucose; Total Cholesterol and HDL; Total Cholesterol, HDL, and Glucose; A Lipid Panel consisting of Total Cholesterol, HDL, Triglycerides, TC/HDL ratio, estimate of LDL and VLDL, and an all-inclusive panel consisting of Total Cholesterol, HDL, Triglycerides, Glucose, TC/HDL ratio, estimate of LDL and VLDL.

Immediate liver function results are also available with the devices newly available ALT (Alanine Ami
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