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- Test Details
- Lab Values
- Clinical Significance
- Treatment Options
Folate is necessary for normal metabolism, DNA synthesis and red blood cell regeneration. Untreated deficiencies may lead to megaloblastic anemia. One of the most important folate-dependent reactions is the conversion of homocysteine to methionine.
Electrochemiluminescence Immunoassay (ECLIA)
8 hour fast prior to collection. Patient may drink water, black coffee, or tea (no milk, cream or sugar).
1.0 mL serum collected in a serum separator tube (SST / Tiger Top)
Refrigerate immediately (ship on frozen cold packs)
Refrigerated: 2 days
- Increased Risk: <12.0 ng/mL
- Borderline: 12.0-18.0 ng/mL
- Optimal: >18.0 ng/mL
Isolated folate deficiency is uncommon; it usually coexists with other nutrient deficiencies because of its strong association with poor diet, alcoholism, and, sometimes, malabsorptive disorders. Women with insufficient folate intakes are at increased risk of giving birth to infants with neural tube defects.
Treatment is based on the cause of the folate deficiency. Folate supplementation may be necessary. Individuals with MTHFR 677T genotype may require supplementation with methyl folate instead of folate to adequately lower their homocysteine levels.