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Could you explain the difference between Lp-PLA2 and Lp-PLA2 Activity?

Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase-A2 (Lp-PLA2) is an enzyme produced by macrophages and other inflammatory cells. It is activated by the presence of oxidized lipoproteins. 

Lp-PLA2 is considered a specific marker of atherosclerosis-related vascular inflammation as it does not increase until plaque becomes advanced and inflamed. Lp-PLA2 is a measurement of the amount of Lp-PLA2 in the blood and is helpful for assessing the amount of inflammation due to a build-up of cholesterol in the artery lining (plaque).

Measuring Lp-PLA2 enzyme activity (nmol/min/mL) is believed to be superior to just measuring concentration (ng/mL). Lp-PLA2 Activity is a measurement of the activity of the enzyme itself. 

  • Activity values are less prone to variability from handling and are more reproducible.
  • Activity values are not affected by the presence of inactive enzyme and likely are more reflective of active oxidation, a significant risk factor for atherosclerosis.

Lp-PLA2                                 Lp-PLA2 activity

Optimal          Less than 165 ng/mL              Less than 75 nmol/min/mL