This new, highly sensitive analytical system, based on controlled dispersion of the flowing sample, gives a rapid, continuous, and direct analysis for cholesterol in all lipoprotein classes, separated by single vertical-spin density-gradient ultracentrifugation. In this Vertical Auto Profile-II fingerstick system, designated VAP-IIfs, a narrow-bore Teflon coil serves as the reactor with no segmentation of the analytical stream by air bubbles, in contrast to the Technicon AutoAnalyzer used in the VAP-I method. Concentrations of high-, low-, intermediate-, and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and lipoprotein(a) cholesterol are determined by decomposing the spectrophotometric absorbance curve for the continuous analysis of the centrifuged sample, with use of software developed in this laboratory. Total cholesterol is determined from the total area under the absorbance curve. For assaying total cholesterol, the CV between aliquots within a rotor ranged from 1.35% to 3.15%; the CV between rotors was 2.45%. Because only 18 μL of sample is required, VAP-IIfs can be readily adapted to analysis for lipoprotein cholesterol profiles in capillary blood samples. Total cholesterol values by VAP-IIfs for fingerstick and venous samples from 23 subjects agreed well: slope = 1.01 (SD 0.03), intercept = -21 (SD 51) mg/L, S(y/x) = 50 mg/L, and r = 0.992. Results by VAP-IIfs also correlated highly with results for duplicate samples analyzed at the Northwest Lipid Research Laboratories.