What is the role of beta quantification (lipoprotein electrophoresis) in the diagnosis of hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels)?

Updated: Dec 19, 2019
  • Author: Mary Ellen T Sweeney, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

The only procedure that reliably distinguishes between a mixed hyperlipoproteinemia (increased LDL cholesterol and triglycerides) and type III hyperlipoproteinemia (increased IDL) is beta quantification (lipoprotein electrophoresis). This expensive analysis involves ultracentrifugation followed by electrophoresis. However, it is not performed by most commercial or hospital laboratories. Studies that can isolate and measure VLDL and IDL include density-gradient ultracentrifugation and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. These tests are reliable in helping diagnose dysbetalipoproteinemia, but they may be available only at lipid specialty laboratories.


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