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Phospholipids, Serum

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Serum phospholipid measurement is used to diagnose lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) deficiency.

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Phospholipids, also known as "lipid complexes", form the largest and most soluble portion of blood lipids. Phospholipids (which contain phosphorus, fatty acids and nitrogen) are required for lipid transport and are one of the essential constituents of cell membranes. Determination of serum phospholipids is useful when there is a suspicion of lipid metabolism. However, they are less commonly used today because cholesterol levels or other specific tests are more appropriate for this purpose. The levels of phospholipids in the amniotic fluid reflect the level of the surfactant and provide an indication of fetal lung maturation.

Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
  • Increase: Diabetes mellitus, biliary cirrhosis, cholestasis, LCAT (cholesterol acyltransferase) deficiency, hypothyroidism, cirrhosis, obstructive jaundice, nephrotic syndrome with cancer. Medications: Estrogens, epinephrine, certain phenothiazines
  • Decrease: Primary hypolipoproteinemia, Tangier's disease, abitaloloproteinemia, diet with restricted fat intake. Medications: Anti-lipidemic agents such as clofibrate




Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

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