The ideal measurement of lipoproteins would entail enumerating the number of particles and describing their relative sizes. Since the amount of cholesterol varies within lipoprotein particles, simple cholesterol content levels typically underestimate the number of lipoprotein particles. Technology has now been developed that utilizes nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to assess lipoprotein particle number and size. The NMR instrumentation provides a direct measurement of the number and relative sizes of LDL particles.
An alternative means of measuring LDL particle number is to measure apoB in LDL isolated by ultracentrifugation. However, this is a more tedious process.