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Test Code 101

Test Details

Total Cholesterol (TC)

Total cholesterol is a measure of the amount of cholesterol in all cholesterol-containing lipoproteins including:

  • Chylomicrons
  • Chylomicron remnants
  • VLDL
  • IDL
  • LDL
  • Lp(a)
  • HDL


Enzymatic Colorimetric

Patient Preparation

8-12 hour fast prior to collection. Patient may drink water only. (If ordered as part a stand-alone test, fasting is not required)

Preferred Specimen

1.0 mL serum (0.5 mL minimum) collected in serum separator tube (SST/Tiger Top)

Alternate Specimen

1.0 mL EDTA plasma (0.5 mL minimum) collected in plasma separator tube (Pearl Top)

Transport Temperature

Refrigerated (ship on frozen cold packs)


Refrigerated: 7 days

Lab Values

Lab Values

Total Cholesterol (TC)

  • Optimal: <200 mg/dL
  • Borderline: 200-240 mg/dL
  • Increased risk: >240 mg/dL
Test Details
Clinical Significance

Clinical Significance

Total Cholesterol (TC)

Total cholesterol used in combination with LDL-C and HDL-C provides information related to the determination of cardiovascular disease risk.1


  1. Contois JH, McConnell JP, Sethi A A, et al. Apolipoprotein B and cardiovascular disease risk: position statement from the AACC Lipoproteins and Vascular Diseases Division Working Group on Best Practices. Clin Chem. 2009;55(3):407–419.
Lab Values
Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Total Cholesterol (TC)

  • Lifestyle modification
  • Statins
  • Niacin
  • Fibrates
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitor
  • Bile acid sequestrants
Clinical Significance