EYE ON DIAGNOSTIC: Gauging cardiovascular risk with the PLAC test

August 2006 
Volume 36  Number 8
Pages 17 - 17
  PDF Version Available!



USED TO GAUGE a patient's risk of coronory heart disease (CHD) and stroke, the PLAC test measures lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A 2 (Lp-PLA 2 ) levels in the blood. A cardiovascular-specific inflammatory enzyme, Lp-PLA 2 resides mainly on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and contributes to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque that's vulnerable to rupture.

According to the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, elevated blood Lp-PLA 2 levels can provide early evidence of risk even when blood LDL levels are normal (less than 130 mg/dL). This study found an elevation of Lp-PLA 2 to be independently associated with CHD, even after adjustment for traditional risk factors and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Arterial plaque is thought to result largely from an inflammatory process. At areas of disruption to the intima, LDL and Lp-PLA 2 enter the intima, where LDL is oxidized and Lp-PLA 2 triggers proinflammatory and proatherogenic ...

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