"Synonyms: HDL, HDL-C, ""good"" cholesterol

Why It Is Done

HDL is one of the classes of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood. HDL is considered to be beneficial because it removes excess cholesterol and disposes of it. Hence HDL cholesterol is often termed ""good"" cholesterol. The test for HDL measures the amount of HDL-cholesterol in blood.

Test overview

The test for HDL-cholesterol uses a blood sample. Most often the blood sample is collected from a vein. Sometimes HDL-cholesterol is measured using a drop of blood collected by puncturing the skin on a finger. A fingerstick sample is typically used when HDL-cholesterol is being measured on a portable testing device - for example at a health fair. HDL is usually ordered with other tests, including cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides as part of a lipid profile. A complete lipid profile requires fasting for at least 12 hours. If the testing occurs when a person is not fasting, only the HDL and total cholesterol values may be used for risk assessment

How To Prepare

Fasting 10 to 12 hours "