PLAC blood test

PLAC (LpPLA2) is a revolutionary blood test which can provide an early warning of the risk of heart disease or stroke

What is a PLAC blood test?

PLAC measures levels of the LpPLA2 enzyme. This is seen as a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels, which is linked to an increase of plaque in the arteries. Your GP may refer you for this test if you smoke, have high cholesterol or if there is a history of cardiovascular disease in your family.

Need to know

  • What happens during a PLAC blood test? icon plus

    PLAC involves taking one or more samples of blood, usually from a vein in your arm. This stage of the procedure should only take a few moments, and will be carried out as an outpatient appointment, and you can go home straight afterwards.

    The sample or samples will then be tested, and your GP or consultant will let you know when you can expect the results, usually with 24 to 48 hours.

    These will reveal whether you have a low, medium or high cardiovascular risk.

  • How to prepare for a PLAC blood test icon plus

    Your GP or consultant will explain what will happen during the test and will answer any questions you may have.

    You should let them know if you are taking any blood thinning medication, such as aspirin, or if you have any condition that makes you more likely to bleed or bruise. They will let you know exactly what you should do beforehand. This may involve avoiding a particular medication or eating for a certain amount of time prior to your blood test.

  • After your blood test icon plus

    The next steps depend on your results.

    • If they show you are a low cardiovascular risk, they will be sent to your GP who will let you know.
    • If they identify you as being a medium or high risk, you are likely to be referred to a cardiovascular consultant. They will discuss these results and may offer a tailored programme from our multidisciplinary team to help you manage your lifestyle. This could include input from physiotherapists and dieticians, who will make recommendations to minimise your risk of cardiovascular disease.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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