Test Details

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Homocysteine, Serum

Number of parameters covered 1

1200

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Synonyms/Also Known as

Total Homocysteine

Related tests

Vitamin B12 and Folate, Intrinsic Factor Antibody

Why get tested?

To detect folate or vitamin B12-deficiency, to asess if a person is at an increased risk for a heart attack or a cardiac stroke , to diagnose homocystinuria which is a rare inherited disorder.

When to get tested?

When vitamin B12 or folate deficiency is suspected in a person, if a person had a heart attack or stroke with no associated risk factors, as part of newborn screening done routinely or in a suspected case of Homocystinuria.

Sample required

Blood

Test preparation needed

It is recommended that the person fasting for at least 10-12 hours before the test. Person is advised not to eat or drink anything except water prior to the test

About The Test

How is it used
Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced by the body. Homocysteine test is used to detect vitamin B12 or folate deficiency in a person. The homocysteine concentration may be elevated much before the vitamin B12 and folate tests become abnormal. Homocysteine test is also done in malnourished individuals, elderly patients, drug or alcohol addicts who absorb less vitamin B12 from their diet. Homocysteine test may be done as a screening test in people at high risk for heart attack or stroke. Homocysteine test is useful in people who have a family history of coronary artery disease with no other associated risk factors (smoking, hypertension, or obesity). Urine homocysteine and blood homocysteine tests are used to help diagnose homocystinuria. As part of their newborn screening, urine and blood homocysteine tests are often performed to confirm the findings of homocysteinuria. Homocystinuria is a genetic condition seen in childhood, where there is a deficiency or lack of enzymes associated with the homocysteine breakdown pathway. This condition leads to severely elevated levels of homocysteine. Homocystinuria is a rare and serious condition where there is developmental delay, osteoporosis, visual abnormalities, blood clots formation, and advanced atherosclerosis in the blood vessels.

FAQ’s

1. What are the sources of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12?

Cereal grains are the main source of folic acid. Fruits and vegetables have high levels of vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 can be found in animal foods like red meats, poultry, fish, and other seafood.

2. Could any medications effect homocysteine level?

Yes. There are several drugs that either increase or decrease the homocysteine levels in the body. Drugs like Azaribine, carbamazepine, methotrexate, nitrous oxide, phenytoin, etc increase the levels of homocysteine. Oral contraceptives also affect homocysteine metabolism.

3. What is homocysteinuria?

Homocystinuria is a genetic condition seen in childhood, where there is a deficiency or lack of enzymes associated with the homocysteine breakdown pathway. This condition leads to severely elevated levels of homocysteine. Homocystinuria is a rare and serious condition where there is developmental delay, osteoporosis, visual abnormalities, blood clots formation, and advanced atherosclerosis in the blood vessels.