NY State Approved Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.
Investigation of suspected folate deficiency
Special Instructions and Forms Describes specimen collection and preparation information, test algorithms, and other information pertinent to test. Also includes pertinent information and consent forms to be used when requesting a particular test
Competitive Binding Receptor Assay
Reporting Name A shorter/abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test; an abbreviated test name
Folate and Vitamin
Folate and Vitamin B12 ORDER 9156
Folate and Vitamin B12 ORDER 9156
Specimen Type Describes the specimen type needed for testing
Specimen Required Defines the optimal specimen. This field describes the type of specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing. The volume allows automated processing, fastest throughput and, when indicated, repeat or reflex testing.
Preferred: Red top
Acceptable: Serum gel
Specimen Volume: 0.6 mL
Collection Instructions: Fasting (8 hours)
Additional Information: Do not order on patients who have recently received methotrexate or other folic acid antagonists.
Specimen Minimum Volume Defines the amount of specimen required to perform an assay once, including instrument and container dead space. Submitting the minimum specimen volume makes it impossible to repeat the test or perform confirmatory or perform reflex testing. In some situations, a minimum specimen volume may result in a QNS (quantity not sufficient) result, requiring a second specimen to be collected.
Mild OK; Gross reject
Mild OK; Gross OK
Specimen Stability Information Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the laboratory. Alternate acceptable temperature(s) are also included.
|Serum||Refrigerated (preferred)||7 days|
Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test
The term folate refers to all derivatives of folic acid. For practical purposes, serum folate is almost entirely in the form of N-(5)-methyl tetrahydrofolate.(1)
Approximately 20% of the folate absorbed daily is derived from dietary sources; the remainder is synthesized by intestinal microorganisms. Serum folate levels typically fall within a few days after dietary folate intake is reduced and may be low in the presence of normal tissue stores. RBC folate levels are less subject to short-term dietary changes.
Significant folate deficiency is characteristically associated with macrocytosis and megaloblastic anemia. Lower than normal serum folate also has been reported in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders, in pregnant women whose fetuses have neural tube defects, and in women who have recently had spontaneous abortions.(3) Folate deficiency is most commonly due to insufficient dietary intake and is most frequently encountered in pregnant women or in alcoholics.
Other causes of low serum folate concentration include:
-Excessive utilization (eg, liver disease, hemolytic disorders, and malignancies)
-Rare inborn errors of metabolism (eg, dihydrofolate reductase deficiency, forminotransferase deficiency, 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency, and tetrahydrofolate methyltransferase deficiency)
Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.
> or =4.0 mcg/L
<4.0 mcg/L suggests folate deficiency
Serum folate is a relatively nonspecific test.(3) Low serum folate levels may be seen in the absence of deficiency and normal levels may be seen in patients with macrocytic anemia, dementia, neuropsychiatric disorders, and pregnancy disorders.
Results <4 mcg/L are suggestive of folate deficiency. The cutoff is based on consensus and was derived from the US NHANES III data.(4)
Evaluation of macrocytic anemias commonly requires measurement of the serum concentration of both vitamin B12 and folate; ideally they should be measured at the same point in time.
Additional testing with homocysteine and methylmalonic acid (MMA) determinations may help distinguish between B12 and folate deficiency states. In folate deficiency, homocysteine levels are elevated and MMA levels are normal. In vitamin B12 deficiency, both homocysteine levels and MMA levels are elevated.
See Pernicious Anemia Testing Cascade in Special Instructions.
Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances
Patients with combined deficiency of folate and iron may not demonstrate the erythrocyte macrocytosis that is typical of folate deficiency anemia. In these patients, however, the red cell distribution width (RDW) will typically be elevated.
Nonfasting specimens yield falsely elevated results.
Recent folic acid administration or dietary folate intake could result in normal or elevated values and possibly mask an underlying folate deficiency.
Folates other than N-(5)-methyltetrahydrofolate and folic acid antagonists (such as methotrexate) may, under some circumstances, be present in serum and will also be measured by this method.
Serum folate measurement is preferred over RBC folate measurement due to considerable analytic variability (coefficient of variation; CV) of assays. Both results give the same interpretation (internal Mayo study) therefore RBC folate quantitation is not recommended. Additional serum testing with homocysteine and methylmalonic acid (MMA) determinations may help distinguish between vitamin B12 and folate deficiency states. In folate deficiency, homocysteine levels are elevated and MMA levels are normal. In vitamin B12 deficiency, the analytic variability (CV) of both serum and RBC folate assays is considerable. Homocysteine and MMA levels are alternate determinates of folate deficiency.
Some patients who have been exposed to animal antigens, either in the environment or as part of treatment or imaging procedures, may have circulating anti-animal antibodies present. These antibodies may interfere with the assay reagents to produce unreliable results.
Clinical Reference Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature
1. Fairbanks VF, Klee GG: Biochemical aspects of hematology. In Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry. Edited by CA Burtis, ER Ashwood. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Company, 1999, pp 1690-1698
2. George L, Mills JL, Johansson AL, et al: Plasma folate levels and risk of spontaneous abortion. JAMA 2002 October 16;288:1867-1873
3. Klee GG: Cobalamin and folate evaluation: measurement of methylmalonic acid and homocysteine vs vitamin B12 and folate. Clin Chem 2000 August;46(8 Pt 2):1277-1283
4. Benoist BD: Conclusions of a WHO Technical Consultation on folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 2008(volume 29, number 2) S238-S244
Method Description Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference
The instrument used is a Beckman Coulter DXI 800. The Access Folate assay is a competitive-binding receptor assay. A serum sample is treated to release folate from endogenous binding proteins. After neutralization of the reaction mixture, folate-binding protein, mouse antifolate-binding protein, folic acid-alkaline phosphatase conjugate, and goat antimouse capture antibody coupled to paramagnetic particles are added to the reaction vessel. Folate in the sample competes with the folic acid-alkaline phosphatase conjugate for binding sites on a limited amount of folate-binding protein. Resulting complexes bind to the solid phase via mouse antifolate binding protein. After incubation in a reaction vessel, materials bound to the solid phase are held in a magnetic field, while unbound materials are washed away. The chemiluminescent substrate Lumi-Phos 530 is added to the vessel and light generated by the reaction is measured with a luminometer. The light production is inversely proportional to the concentration of folate in the sample. The amount of analyte in the sample is determined from a stored, multipoint calibration curve. The assay is standardized to the World Health Organization (WHO) International Standard 03/178.(Beckman Coulter Assay Manual 2011, Beckman Coulter Inc., Fullerton, CA)
Day(s) and Time(s) Test Performed Outlines the days and times the test is performed. This field reflects the day and time the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time required before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means assays are performed several times during the day.
Monday through Friday; 5 a.m.–12 a.m., Saturday; 6 a.m.–6 p.m.
Analytic Time Defines the amount of time it takes the laboratory to setup and perform the test. This is defined in number of days. The shortest interval of time expressed is "same day/1 day," which means the results may be available the same day that the sample is received in the testing laboratory. One day means results are available 1 day after the sample is received in the laboratory.
Same Day/1 day
Maximum Laboratory Time Defines the maximum time from specimen receipt at Mayo Medical Laboratories until the release of the test result
Specimen Retention Time Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded
Performing Laboratory Location The location of the laboratory that performs the test
Test Classification Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer's instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR), Investigation Use Only (IUO) product, or a Research Use Only (RUO) product.
This test has been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.
CPT Code Information Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Medical Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.
LOINC® Code Information Provides guidance in determining the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) values for the result codes returned for this test or profile.
|Result ID||Reporting Name||LOINC Code|