Vitamin B12 - serum

Last updated: Wednesday, 31, March, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

5-10 mL blood in plain tube.

Method

Immunoassay.

Reference Interval

Generally 120-680 pmol/L.

Application

Investigation of a patient with a high MCV and/or morphological changes (blood film) suggestive of megaloblastic anaemia.

Although significant vitamin B12 deficiency with a normal FBC has been described in patients with neurological manifestations, this is rare and careful examination of the blood film has shown occasional macrocytes and neutrophil hypersegmentation.

Interpretation

Low in megaloblastic anaemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Borderline levels may be seen in patients with folate deficiency.

Reference

Chanarin I. The Megaloblastic Anaemias. 3rd ed. Blackwell Scientific 1990.

Bain BJ. Blood Cells - A Practical Guide. 2nd ed. Blackwell Science 1995.

Curtis AD et al. Clin Lab Haematol 1986; 8: 135-140.