Lipoprotein(a) is a unique lipoprotein with atherothrombogenic properties. Although its blood concentration is mainly genetically determined, various factors exist which may cause variability. These may influence the clinical use of the results. We studied lipoprotein(a) biological variation by a rate nephelometric assay over a period of two years in a population of healthy fertile women. The study was performed in 12 volunteers, healthy subjects with various lipoprotein( a) concentrations, by monthly determinations during one year and a single determination one year later, together with measurements of total, high density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein2 cholesterol, triglycerides and apolipoproteins A1 and B. The intra-individual variability of lipoprotein(a) ranged between 4 to 20%, with three subjects showing a coefficient of biological variation higher than 15 %. In absolute terms, the difference between two determinations could represent 0.44 g/l or 50 % of the mean value. This study suggests that physiological lipoprotein( a) variations should be taken into account for clinical purposes, especially in patients in need of thorough risk evaluation.
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