Now, a more specific cholesterol measure is available for people with borderline LDL cholesterol levels or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) lipoprofile uses nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure how lipoproteins, such as LDL are metabolized. Unlike traditional cholesterol blood tests, the NMR lipoprofile measures the size of LDL particles, not just the level of LDL present in the blood.
LDL particle size can be used to help assess a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and diabetes. For example, two individuals can have the same LDL cholesterol level but the size of the particles may be different: small LDL particles directly correlate with higher risk for cardiovascular disease. This measurement allows medical professionals to develop more specific and individualized treatment options for people with these conditions.