HDL Cholesterol (HDL)

 CPT Code:  83718
 Specimen:  Serum or plasma
 Volume:  1 mL
Minimum Volume: 0.5 mL
Container: Red-top tube, gel-barrier tube, green-top (heparin) tube, or lavender-top (EDTA) tube
Methodology: Enzymatic
Collection: Serum and plasma should be collected after a 12-hour period of fasting using recommended procedures for collection of diagnostic blood specimens by venipuncture.  Complete clot formation should take place before centrifugation.  Serum or plasma should be physically separated from cells as soon as possible with a maximum limit of two hours from the time of collection.  Specimens should be free of particulate matter.
Reference Range: > 39 mg/dL


Temperatures Period
Refrigerated (2-8 ⁰C)  7 Days (If not tested within 8 hours)
Frozen (-70 ⁰C) 3 Months
Samples may be frozen once.  When using samples stored at 2-8 ⁰C or at -70 ⁰C, increases or decreases of up to 10% may be observed in HDL-C concentrations.


Use: High-density lipoprotein (HDL), a fat and protein combination, is often considered “good cholesterol” as it carries cholesterol away from blood vessels to the liver. In the liver, it is processed and passed from the body. Research indicates that high levels of HDL are linked with lower risk of heart and artery disease.
Causes for Rejection:  Improper labeling
Interfering Substances: Abnormal liver function may affect lipid metabolism; therefore, HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol results are of limited diagnostic value.  In some patients with abnormal liver function, the HDL-C results may significantly differ from the designated comparison method (DCM) results.

In very rare cases, gammopathy, in particular type IgM (Waldentrom’s macroglobulinemia), may cause unreliable results.