Homocysteine, Serum

1 Day(s)

Reference Range

Homocysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. In healthy subjects, it cannot be detected because it is all converted into cysteine. However, homocysteine can be detected in the blood of 20% of patients with vascular disease (high levels of homocysteine are directly damaging to vessel walls). Such build-up can be due to an acquired problem like vitamin deficiency (B6, B12 or folate) or a genetic trait (methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine S-methyltransferase deficiency). There has been recent interest in the use of this test in the evaluation of risk of cerebral and coronary vascular disease.

Special Requirements

Serum must be kept on ice and separated from cells within 1 hour of collection. Fasting specimen is preferred.

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