The test measures the amount of total cholesterol in the blood.
Total LDL and HDL cholesterol, in conjunction with a triglyceride determination, provide valuable information for the risk of coronary artery disease. Total serum cholesterol analysis is useful in the diagnosis of hyperlipoproteinemia, atherosclerosis, hepatic and thyroid diseases.
If a cholesterol measurement is to be performed along with triglycerides, but not part of a lipid panel, then the patient should be fasting 9-12 hours prior to collection. If the cholesterol is ordered as part of a lipid panel, then a fasting sample is not required.