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ApoCII Article




Apolipoprotein CII (apoCII) is a specific type of protein found in large particles absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. It is also found in very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), which is made up of mostly cholesterol.

This article discusses the test used to check for apoCII in the blood.

Alternative Names

ApoCII; Apoprotein CII

Why the ApoCII is Performed

This test is usually done to help determine the cause of hyperlipidemia (high blood lipid levels).

How the ApoCII is Performed

Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic. An elastic band is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and cause the vein to swell with blood.

A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. During the procedure, the band is removed to restore circulation. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.

In infants or young children, the area is cleansed with antiseptic and punctured with a sharp needle or a lancet. The blood may be collected in a pipette (small glass tube), on a slide, onto a test strip, or into a small container. A bandage may be applied to the puncture site if there is any bleeding.

How to Prepare for the ApoCII

You may be told not to eat or drink anything for 4 - 6 hours before the test.

How the ApoCII Will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you may feel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.


  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
  • Multiple punctures to locate veins


Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample may be more difficult from some people than from others.

What Abnormal Results Mean

ApoCII measurements can help to determine the specific type or cause of high blood lipids (hyperlipidemia). Persons with familial lipoprotein lipase deficiency may have high amounts of apoCII.

Other disorders that may be associated with high apoCII levels include:

  • Angina pectoris
  • Heart attack

Low apoCII levels are seen in persons with a rare condition called familial apoprotein CII deficiency.

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