Background/Aim: This study was performed to comparatively evaluate the results obtained for low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations by either a newly described direct method or the Friedewald equation in subjects with and without chronic renal disease. Methods: Fasting plasma was obtained from a total of 169 subjects, 105 with normal renal function (including 53 hyperlipidaemic) and 64 with chronic renal disease (nephrotic syndrome and/or chronic renal failure; including 40 hyperlipidaemic patients), and analyzed for LDL cholesterol using the Friedewald equation and a direct LDL assay method. Results: The Friedewald equation and the direct LDL cholesterol assay correlated well with each other (r = 0.79–0.90 in all subjects with plasma triglyceride, TG, levels greater than or less than 4.0 mmol/l and with and without chronic renal disease and/or hyperlipidaemia, all p < 0.0001). The values for LDL cholesterol, however, tended to be higher with the direct measurement. This mean difference was trivial in hyperlipidaemic subjects with (8.5%) and without (7.1%) normal renal function (both p < 0.05), but could be clinically significant in those with TG >4.0 mmol/l (mean difference 18%, p < 0.001). Indeed, bias plots confirmed this observation of wider negative bias for Friedewald estimation in these moderately hypertriglyceridaemic subjects. Conclusion: For most routine laboratories the options immediately available for assessment of lipid levels are the Friedewald equation or the direct measurement. The Friedewald equation and the direct assay method for LDL cholesterol are about equally good for assessment of the LDL status in patients with chronic renal disease and plasma TG <4.0 mmol/l. Where there are restraints on laboratory budgets, it would appear appropriate that the more expensive direct assay method be restricted to cases in whom plasma TG >4.0 mmol/l or to patients who, for whatever reason, are unable to produce fasting samples.