This test is a quantitative analysis of phospholipids, the major form of lipids in cell membranes. Phospholipids are involved in cellular membrane composition and permeability and help control enzyme activity within the membrane. They aid transport of fatty acids and lipids across the intestinal barrier and from the liver and other fat depots to other body tissues. Phospholipids are essential for pulmonary gas exchange.
Procedure and posttest care
Send the sample to the laboratory immediately because spontaneous redistribution may occur among plasma lipids.
Normal phospholipid levels range from 180 to 320 mg/dl. Although men usually have higher levels than women, values in pregnant women exceed those of men.
Elevated phospholipid levels may indicate hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, nephrotic syndrome, chronic pancreatitis, or obstructive jaundice. Decreased levels may indicate primary hypolipoproteinemia.
Lack of phospholipids in premature infants leads to neonatal respiratory distress syndrome.
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