Cardio IQ testing gives you options

There are many different Cardio IQ tests that your doctor can order on your behalf. You and your doctor can then use the results to better understand your heart health and come up with the best treatment plan for you.

Learn more about each type of Cardio IQ test by choosing a link below.

Lipid Panels
LDL-C: Martin-Hopkins Calculation
Lipoprotein Subfractionation
Inflammation Biomarkers
Heart Failure
Metabolic Markers
Genetic Cardiovascular Markers

Lipid Panels

Lipids are directly linked to the risk of heart and blood vessel disease. Lipid panels measure the levels of HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood.

  • Lipid Panels

    This is the standard test used to determine cholesterol levels. In addition to HDL and LDL, it measures total cholesterol, as well as triglycerides (another type of lipid).

LDL-C: Martin-Hopkins Calculation

The Martin-Hopkins Calculation for LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) gives doctors more accurate information with which to manage heart health, and fasting is not required. Quest Diagnostics is the first U.S. diagnostic laboratory to measure all LDL-C with this new assessment method. Read more.

Lipoprotein Subfractionation

Lipoproteins carry fats and cholesterol. Lipoprotein Subfraction measures the levels and types of lipoproteins in the blood to uncover risks that are linked to heart disease.

  • Lipid Subfractionation by Ion Mobility

    This test separates, counts, and measures the particles that make up LDL-C and HDL-C. A high number of small and medium LDL particles indicates an increased risk of heart disease. A low number of large HDL particles indicates an increased risk of heart disease.

    These numbers can potentially be improved by lifestyle changes, in conjunction with certain medications such as statins, niacin, or fibrates.


Apolipoproteins bind lipids (or fats) together to carry them through the blood system. Some of the lipids carried by apolipoproteins include cholesterol and triglycerides, which makes this test helpful in determining heart disease risk.

  • ApoB

    This test measures the levels of ApoB, a type of apolipoprotein that clogs arteries. High levels of ApoB are linked to a greater risk of heart disease.

    The level can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, exercising more, losing weight, and taking certain medications.

  • Lp(a)

    This test determines your blood levels of Lp(a), a combination of apolipoproteins and a lipoprotein. High levels are linked to heart disease and stroke.

    These levels may be influenced by genetics. Diet and exercise don’t seem to help lower them, but certain medications do.

Inflammation Biomarkers

When the inner lining of your arteries become damaged by diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and lifestyle habits, the cholesterol in your blood enters the artery walls more easily. This causes injury to the artery walls and they become inflamed.

Inflammation biomarkers examine the severity of atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease in which cholesterol, fats, and other substances in your arteries build up over time to form plaque.

  • F2-Isoprostanes (F2-IsoPs)

    This test measures the levels of F2-IsoPs in your urine. F2-IsoPs are formed from a type of fatty acid found in certain foods. When too many are present, F2-IsoPs can cause internal stress, which can lead to the development of heart disease, diabetes, and/or cancer.

    Because F2-IsoPs levels can be high at the beginning stages of the disease process, they can provide an early warning sign to your doctor about your risk for disease.

    F2-IsoPs are known as “lifestyle” markers, and their levels are improved by making better daily lifestyle choices. Choosing a diet low in red meat and full of fruits and vegetables can help lower F2-IsoP levels. Regular exercise also helps.

  • Oxidized LDL (OxLDL)

    This test measures the amount of LDL that is oxidized. LDL (the “bad cholesterol”) can become oxidized, or damaged, in the blood stream. Oxidized LDL (OxLDL) is even more likely than regular LDL to invade and damage the walls of your blood vessels, which leads to heart disease.

    Understanding your OxLDL levels can help your doctor determine if you are at a higher risk for heart attack or heart disease.

    OxLDL levels can be improved by eating a diet low in saturated fat and full of fruits and vegetables. Increasing physical activity and quitting smoking can also help.


    This test measures levels of ADMA (asymmetric dimethylarginine) and SDMA (symmetric dimethylarginine). Too much ADMA/SDMA can make it hard for your body to produce nitric oxide, which it needs to keep the cells that line your blood vessels healthy.

    If your ADMA/SDMA levels are high, it can be a sign of a problem with the health of your blood vessels. Studies have shown that people with elevated levels have a higher risk of heart attacks, stroke, and severe kidney problems.

    ADMA/SDMA levels can be improved by eating a heart-healthy diet low in sugar and salt, increasing physical activity, and taking medication prescribed by your doctor.

  • Microalbumin

    This test detects the levels of the very small (micro) elevations of albumin in your urine. Albumin is a protein normally found in your blood, but not normally found in urine. If microalbumin is present in your urine, it may signify that your kidneys and arteries are damaged.

    Your doctor may want to check your microalbumin level if you have risk factors for heart attack, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high cholesterol levels.

    Changes to your diet and exercise can help lower your microalbumin levels. If you smoke, your doctor can help with programs or products to help you quit.

  • hsCRP (C-Reactive Protein)

    C-reactive protein (CRP) is made by the liver when inflammation is present somewhere in your body. A regular CRP test is often used to help your doctor find out if you have an infection. A “high sensitivity,” or “hs,” version of the CRP blood test measures extremely low levels of CRP that usual tests can miss.

    Studies have shown that very low levels of inflammation in the blood vessels over a long period of time can be a warning sign of more advanced stage of heart disease. When this high-sensitivity test detects moderately elevated CRP, it reveals the inflammation associated with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.

    hsCRP can be elevated when you have an infection, so be sure any known infection is treated and cured. If you smoke, stop. Certain medications and heart-healthy foods have anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

  • Lp-PLA2 Activity

    The Lp-PLA2 Activity test measures the actions of the Lp-PLA2 enzyme in the blood. If the Lp-PLA2 Activity rises, it can be a sign of inflammation inside the blood vessel walls.

    This test can help your doctor understand the health of your blood vessels to determine your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

    The Lp-PLA2 level can be decreased by eating a heart-healthy diet, as well as keeping your blood pressure and LDL cholesterol in check. If you smoke, stop. Be sure to see your dentist regularly as dental disease increases the risk of heart attacks.

  • Myeloperoxidase (MPO)

    This test reveals the levels of Myeloperoxidase enzymes. They are present when your blood vessels are inflamed from damage, high cholesterol, or plaque buildup.

    The MPO test can help your doctor determine if you have inflammation in your blood vessels that may add to your risk of a heart attack. High MPO levels indicate a higher risk.

    MPO levels can be lowered by improving blood pressure and blood sugar to normal levels. Lowering your LDL cholesterol can have a positive effect. If you smoke, stop

  • Fibrinogen

    A Fibrinogren test looks at the levels of this protein in your blood. Fibrinogen is a part of the blood’s clotting process that can be elevated due to inflammation. Continually high levels of fibrinogen are linked to increased risk of heart disease.

    Fibrinogen levels can be lowered by stopping smoking and losing excessive body fat.

Heart Failure

Heart failure is a progressive condition of the heart muscle. It occurs when the heart can no longer pump effectively enough to meet the body’s needs for oxygen.

  • NT-proBNP

    This test examines levels of NT-proBNP, a hormone released from heart muscle cells in response to stress or strain on the heart. A high level of NT-proBNP is a warning that the heart is struggling to function properly. Early identification of high levels may help your doctor decide on a treatment plan to lower the risk of a cardiac event.

  • ST2

    ST2 is a specific type of protein. If heart failure has already been diagnosed, an ST2 test monitors its progression. High levels of ST2 may mean heart failure is getting worse and that a change in therapy is needed.

  • Galectin-3

    This test looks for Galectin-3, a protein that is present when the heart tissue is injured. Elevated levels can suggest the progression of heart failure.

    Doctors may test for Galectin-3 to evaluate both the presence and management of heart failure.

Metabolic Markers

Metabolic Markers are used to evaluate how all the processes in your body are working together to create the energy your body needs to perform properly. These markers directly impact your heart’s health.

  • Hemoglobin A1c

    The hemoglobin A1c test is used to help figure out who may have diabetes either now or in the future by measuring blood sugar levels over the past 90 days. High levels may indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes.

  • Glucose

    Glucose testing measures sugar levels in the blood. High glucose levels may mean you are not responding to the insulin your pancreas is making, so sugar is not getting to the cells where it is needed. Diabetes is the most common disease that causes irregular glucose levels.

  • Insulin

    Insulin is a hormone that is vital for regulating blood sugar. This test measures the effects of insulin in your system. Constant high levels of insulin increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.

    High insulin levels can be improved with proper nutrition, exercise, stress management, or certain medications.

  • Omega-3 and -6 Fatty Acids, Plasma

    This test assesses the levels of these fatty acids in the blood. A lower omega-3 index is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including sudden cardiac death.

    Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids or taking omega-3 supplements can increase omega-3 fatty acid levels.

  • Vitamin D

    This blood test is the most accurate way to measure Vitamin D levels. Low levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure.

    Vitamin D levels may be low for many reasons, such as not enough sun exposure, not eating a balanced diet, and obesity. Taking vitamin D supplements is one way to increase vitamin D levels.

Genetic Cardiovascular Markers

These tests provide a look at the genes you are born with and how they may impact your heart health and risk of heart disease.

  • KIF6 Genotype

    This test determines whether you carry the KIF6 gene. People who are KIF6 carriers may have a higher risk of heart disease events (such as a heart attack).

  • CYP2C19 Genotype

    The CYP2C19 genotype test evaluates how well your body processes the medication clopidogrel (Plavix). If you are a poor or intermediate metabolizer, Plavix may be less effective at preventing blood clots.

  • LPA-Aspirin Genotype

    The LPA-aspirin genotype test can give insight into your risk of heart disease, as well as your response to aspirin. If you are an LPA-aspirin carrier, you may have a higher risk of heart disease events (such as a heart attack). However, if you are an LPA-aspirin carrier, low-dose aspirin may help reduce your risk.

  • 4q25-AF Risk Genotype

    The 4q25-AF genotype test evaluates your risk of atrial fibrillation (AF [irregular heartbeat]) and your risk of stroke caused by AF. If you are a 4q25-AF risk carrier, you may have a higher risk of AF and stroke caused by AF.

  • LPA-Intron 25 Genotype

    The LPA-Intron 25 genotype test assesses your risk of heart disease. If you are an LPA-Intron 25 carrier, you may have a higher risk of heart disease.

  • 9p21 Genotype

    The 9p21 genotype test determines risk levels for certain types of heart disease. If you are a 9p21 carrier, you may have a higher risk of a heart attack (myocardial infarction) before the age of 60 if you are female, and age 50 if you are male, or abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), blocked coronary arteries, or a heart attack at any age.

  • ApoE Genotype

    The ApoE genotype test assesses your risk of heart disease, as well as your response to different amounts of dietary fats. There are six APOE genotypes: 2/2, 2/3, 3/3, 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4. If you have the 3/4 or 4/4 genotype, you may have a higher risk of heart disease.

Next Steps

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