Apolipoprotein B-100 (APOB)

Clinical definition of the Apolipoprotein B test
Apolipoproteins are proteins that bind to lipids  to form lipoproteins. Their synthesis in the liver is controlled by a host of factors, including dietary composition, hormones (insulin, glucagon, thyroxin, estrogens and androgens), alcohol intake and various drugs (statins, niacin, and fibric acids). They help to transport the lipids through the lymphatic and circulatory systems. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad-cholesterol” is responsible for plaque formation, while High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good-cholesterol” is responsible for removing plaque-forming substances.
Apo B is a primary integral apoprotein, required for the formation of low-density lipoproteins complexes (LDL or "bad cholesterol") and triglycerides and is responsible for carrying cholesterol to tissues by acting as a ligand for LDL receptors in various cells throughout the body. High levels of ApoB can lead to plaques causing atherosclerosis & heart disease. It has been found that levels of ApoB are a better indicator of heart disease risk than total cholesterol or LDL.

Why is the Apolipoprotein B test done?
People suspected to be at a high risk of heart disease, atherosclerosis and/or hyperlipidemia  may have to undergo the apolipoprotein B test. It may also be used to monitor the effectiveness of lifestyle changes and lipid treatments.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the Apolipoprotein B test is done?

  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Pain, fullness and/or squeezing sensation of the chest
  • Jaw pain, toothache, headache
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or general epigastric (upper middle abdomen) discomfort
  • Sweating
  • Heartburn and/or indigestion
  • Arm pain (more commonly the left arm, but may be either arm)
  • Upper back pain
  • General malaise (vague feeling of illness)

Who should do the Apolipoprotein B test (Target population)?
People who have a personal or family history of heart disease , CAD and/or hyperlipidemia.

What should I do before the Apolipoprotein B test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions during specimen collection*


(Blood Sample)


(Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm)

Fasting Required.

Fasting samples have to be collected after a minimum 12-14 hour overnight fasting status.

Clear fluids like water is allowed during this period. Refrain from consumption of early morning beverages like tea, coffee and milk until specimen collection is completed.

In case of diabetics on oral or injectable hypoglycemic agents, consult your physician about continuing with these medications prior to specimen collection.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my Apolipoprotein B test results?


Reference Range


55-140 mg/dL


55-125 mg/dL 

Inference: High levels of Apo B indicate increased risk from heart disease.
‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Diseases/conditions related to the Apolipoprotein B test

  • CAD
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Peripheral vascular diseases
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Systemic non-neuropathic amyloidosis
  • Hypobetalipoproteinemia

Other tests related to the Apolipoprotein B test

  • LDL
  • Lipid profile
  • Cholesterol
  • Apo A
  • HDL
  • Lp(a)
  • hs-CRP
  • Homocysteine

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Apolipoprotein A1/B