Saturday, 20 October 2007

CHEMISTRY - Measuring Cholesterol

Dear Medical Technologists, I'm going to share with you one of the point-of-care testing system that I've learnt when I was sent out for an Outreach Program few weeks ago. This is regarding cholesterol measurement using the Accutrend® GCT Meter (Roche).

Name of Test: Cholesterol (CHOL) Measurement using Accutrend® GCT Meter

(Picture taken from


Cholesterol is a major steroid in human body. Majority is free, unesterified, that form the structural component of the cell membrane. Its content in the body is dependent on the diet, synthesis within tissue cells and excretion by the liver. Proportion absorbed in the intestine is affected by the amount ingested, with less absorbance when intake is high.

Cholesterol is insoluble in water, thus before being absorbed, unesterified cholesterol is first solublized. It is excreted unchanged or as bile acids in bile. Transportation in plasma and its metabolism are related to lipoprotien metabolism. 2/3 of the plasma cholesterol is in the esterified form.


  • Accutrend® GCT Meter

  • Accu-Chek Safe-T-Pro Plus® lancet device

  • (Picture taken from:

  • Cholesterol Test Strip

  • Code Strip (found in every new pack of test strips, for calibration purpose)

  • Control CH1 (for QC purpose)

  • Alcohol Swab

  • Cotton ball

Procedure (from finger-prick to measurement):

  • Switch on the Accutrend® GCT Meter and insert the test strip

  • Tally the participant's name with the LIS

  • Select the depth of the Accu-Chek Safe-T-Pro Plus® lancet device and the puncture site

  • Clean the puncture site with alcohol swab

  • Twist off the sterility cap and gently press the lancet against the side of the finger tip

  • Apply a hanging drop of blood to the yellow test field on top of the test strip

  • Close the meter flap immediately and wait for 180s countdown

  • Stop the bleed using a cotton ball

  • Read measurement

  • Enter into LIS

Principle of Analysis: Reflectance Photometry

The yellow region of each test strip contains detection reagent which reacts with the blood and causes a colour change. The meter measures the intensity of the reaction colour based on reflectance photometry and calculates the concentration of the sample through a "lot-specific" algorithm (i.e. the data previously entered by mean of code strip), giving the cholesterol reading.

Test Results:

Range: 3.88 - 7.76mmol/L

LO indicates value is below 3.88; HI indicates value is above 7.76

In either cases, turn the strip over and check if the test region is uniformly covered by the blood. If partially coloured, repeat test.

Desirable: < 5.12 mmol/L
Borderline High: 5.12 - 6.18 mmol/L
High: > 6.18 mmol/L


  • Can be performed on non-fasting individual's blood

  • Uses dry chemistry methodology outside a lab setting (suitable for Public screening)

  • Low cost

  • Convenient; Portability

  • Fast results (within 180s)

  • Minimal blood for testing (requires only 1 drop)

  • Easy to operate for the medical worker

  • Gives a relatively accurate result

Test is affacted by...

  • IV infusion of Vitamin C

  • Elevated bilirubin (>171umol/L); Jaundice

  • Haematocrit > 55%

  • Methylaminoantiprine

  • Gentisic Acid
Clinical Significance:

There is a good correlation between cholesterol level and incidence of coronary artery diseases. Hence, by offering this fast and convenient point-of-care testing, any risk of atherosclerosis can be detected early. However, further investigation is required to justify the finding.

Questions for me???



Anonymous said...

hi pei shan,
is there any other test that is done together with this testto confirm the results incase there is interferance due to bilirubin..thanks

cheng hong

MedBankers said...

hey dear,

long time no see!
As you said, you went for outreach programme and did this cholesteral measurement. If the participant have the habit of eating vit. C pills everyday(is it the same as IV infusion?), does it means that he/she cannot do this test?

see u on fri!

first6weeks said...


I just wonder as u mention the test will be affected by the
1.)IV infusion of Vitamin C
2.)Elevated bilirubin (>171umol/L); Jaundice
3.)Haematocrit > 55%
5.)Gentisic Acid

Wouldnt there be any discrepancy regarding the result? Or this test is specific for certain people due to the limitation?


Vino said...

hey hey

U mentioned abt detection reagent present in the yellow region of the test trip. wat is/ are the detection reagent?? that causes the reaction, colour change, to occur?


Distinction in Disaster! said...

Just want to say, I learnt to use this as well!
But I'm not measuring blood cholesterol level, instead I'm measuring blood glucose levels. XD

Charmaine Tan

royal physicians said...

Hi Pei shan,

i would to ask how do you select the depth of the Accu-Chek Safe-T-Pro Plus® lancet device?based on the finger thickness(hehe ^_^)?


ALsubs said...

hi pei shan;)

"The meter measures the intensity of the reaction colour based on reflectance photometry and calculates the concentration of the sample through a "lot-specific" algorithm (i.e. the data previously entered by mean of code strip), giving the cholesterol reading."

what is reflectance photometry? intensity of the reaction.. meaning the darker the colour the higher the cholesterol level?

cass tg02

Aung said...

Dear Sir,

I need your suggestion about 3 different results of Cholesterol in C311, Reflotron & Accutrend Plus ( Point of Care ).

Pls see the results .

PNU Known sample of serum ( chol 180 mg/dl)
Reflotron 175 mg/dl 176
Accutrend Plus 200 209 ( get 203 when run it 2nd time )
C311 174 (get 177 when run it 2nd time ) 200

Reflotron Analyzer is Sr No 5075377 & Accutrend Plus meter is Sr. No 02162080.

I want to know what is your opinion on these 3 different analyzer .