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Lipaemia (also Lipemia) describes an abnormally high concentration of lipids in the blood, usually in the form of very low density lipoproteins (VLDLs) or chylomicrons. Characteristically the blood plasma may appear white or milky in colour due to the presence of fat.
Triglycerides in the 400–800 mg/dl range may produce visible lipaemia.
Additional recommended knowledge
Causes of lipaemia
Common causes of lipaemia are:
Interference with laboratory testing
Assays and analysers routinely used for biochemical and haematological laboratory tests can be classified according to how they work:
In lipaemia, chylomicrons and VLDLs are suspended in the blood and scatter light, producing the characteristic cloudiness or turbidity similar to that seen in milk. This suspension interferes with laboratory instrument systems that function based on light detection or scatter (turbidimetry and nephelometry).
The lipid particles also exert a volume effect and can interfere with laboratory assays involving volume displacement. This effect can cause a pseudo-hyponatremia for example.
Assays involving the aqueous fraction, such as methods involving ionselective electrodes are not affected by lipaemia.
Using optical clot detection methods, as is commonly used in determining prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time, lipemia may result in artificial prolongation of clotting times.
Mechanical or electromechanical means of clot detection are not affected by lipemia.
Tests affected by lipaemia
Lipemia artificially increases values of the following analytes:
Lipaemia artificially decreases values of the following analytes:
Dealing with a lipaemic sample
Many instruments employ an optical detection method to measure the optical density of a sample. If a sample is lipaemic and the baseline optical density is too high, the instrument will not report a result. Other techniques will be needed to analyse the sample:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lipaemia". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|