homocysteine Test


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clinical definition of homocysteine

Homocysteine is an amino acid C4H9NO2S found in animal metabolism and is usually a by-product of consuming meat. Increased amounts of homocysteine in the blood are associated with atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and a possibility of Alzheimer's disease.

Homocysteine levels are greatly affected by diet (folic acid, vitamins B6 & B12) and by genetic factors. Studies found higher levels of vitamin B & folic Acid to have positive effects in partially lowering homocysteine levels in the blood.Foods high in folic acid are green, leafy vegetables and grain products; Vitamin B12 is Eggs and Milk and Vitamin B6 are peanuts, cashew nuts, potatoes and wheat products.

when do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

why get tested?

This test ordered to diagnose a deficiency of Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid or in a case of homocystinuria. It may also be carried out as a part of a lipid profile assessment or as a follow up to a heart attack or stroke.

reason to take homocysteine test

The common signs/symptoms are:

  • Extreme tiredness and weakness
  • Seizures
  • Dislocation of the lens of the eye
  • Abnormal bone structure
  • Osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • Blood clots
  • Or decreased weight or rate of weight gain
  • Slowed development in children

preparations needed for homocysteine test

Preparatory instructions before the test *:

  • Fasting Required.
  • Fasting samples have to be collected after a minimum 10-12 hour overnight fasting status.
  • Clear fluids like water is allowed during this period. Refrain from consumption of early morning beverages like tea, coffee and milk until specimen collection is completed.
  • In case of diabetics on oral or injectable hypoglycemic agents, consult your physician about continuing with these medications prior to specimen collection.

sample required?

Specimen type: Serum (Blood Sample)

Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture (Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm)

Understanding results ofHomocysteine

Reference RangeInterpretation
4.44 - 13.56 µmol/LFemale
5.46 - 16.2 µmol/Lmale

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges'