Research Blog

April 19, 2022

Cardiometabolic Biomarkers: Lp-PLA2 Activity

Optimal Takeaways

Lp-PLA2 activity indicates how active the Lp-PLA2 enzyme is at a given time, and reflects the amount of oxidation and severity of atherosclerosis present. It is considered more accurate to measure Lp-PLA2 activity than mass/quantity. Increasing Lp-PLA2 activity suggests increasingly unstable atherosclerotic plaque and may be associated with CVD, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

Standard Range: 0-123 nmol/min/mL

The ODX Range: 0-75 nmol/min/mL

Low Lp-PLA2 activity indicates reduced oxidation of lipoproteins and reduced risk of vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis.

High Lp-PLA2 activity reflects increased oxidative stress, the presence of oxidized lipoproteins, and a likely insufficiency of antioxidants. Increased activity is associated with metabolic syndrome and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and events.


Measuring Lp-PLA2 activity is believed to be more accurate than quantifying the enzyme in the blood.

Increased Lp-PLA2 activity is associated with smoking, age, aspirin use, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, and antioxidant insufficiency (which allows for oxidation of lipoproteins). Increasing Lp-PLA2 activity by just one standard deviation increases the risk of CVD within five years. Weight reduction and increasing calories from protein versus carbohydrates decreased Lp-PLA2 activity. Research suggests that LP-PLA2 activity associated with HDL may be more protective than activity associated with LDL (Silva 2011). Increased Lp-PLA2 activity may reflect an increased progression of aortic stenosis (Capoulade 2015).

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Capoulade, Romain et al. “Impact of plasma Lp-PLA2 activity on the progression of aortic stenosis: the PROGRESSA study.” JACC. Cardiovascular imaging vol. 8,1 (2015): 26-33. doi:10.1016/j.jcmg.2014.09.016

De Stefano, Alessandro et al. “Lp-PLA2, a new biomarker of vascular disorders in metabolic diseases.” International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology vol. 33 (2019): 2058738419827154. doi:10.1177/2058738419827154

Silva, Isis T et al. “Antioxidant and inflammatory aspects of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A₂ (Lp-PLA₂): a review.” Lipids in health and disease vol. 10 170. 28 Sep. 2011, doi:10.1186/1476-511X-10-170

Tag(s): Biomarkers

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