The VAP cholesterol test is a comprehensive test that measures LDL and the subclasses of HDL cholesterol, according to Life Extension. The VAP cholesterol test provides more thorough information compared to regular lipid panel tests, successfully identifying patients who are at risk of developing heart disease.
During a VAP test, the doctor or nurse takes a blood sample from the patient. The blood is sent to a laboratory for testing. Direct LDL, dense pattern LDL and various lipoproteins are measured. The results are compared against the guidelines set forth in the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III to determine if a patient is at risk for heart disease, asserts Life Extension. Patients with a medical history of heart problems, high blood pressure or diabetes benefit the most from a VAP test.
Although a VAP test provides doctors direct LDL information instead of estimates taken from regular lipid panel tests, VAP tests are more expensive, and the results are not consistently valued among all VAP tests, claims University of California Berkeley Wellness. However, the benefits may outweigh the disadvantages because regular lipid panel tests have been shown to diagnose only 40 percent of patients who are at risk of developing heart disease, notes Life Extension.