The protein is believed to be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait and appears to be insensitive to either diet, lifestyle or most hypolipidaemic drugs. The characteristic feature of Lp (a) is that it is distinct from all other serum proteins and apolipoproteins. Since its discovery in 1963 there has been a considerable rise in interest, not only in specialised research centers but also in clinical laboratories, in the accurate measurement of Lipoprotein (a) in blood.
This interest was stimulated by reports indicating that levels above 20 – 30 mg/dl present in approx. 25% of the population are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Many investigators have confirmed that high Lipoprotein (a) concentrations represent an indicator of risk for cardiovascular diseases, especially when serum LDL or APO B are elevated.
The test is a kinetic measurement of the Lp (a) concentration at 700 nm (Absorbance).