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Vitamin B12

Category Biochemistry
Test background

Megaloblastic anaemia is an anaemia (of macrocytic classification) which results from inhibition of DNA synthesis in red cell haematopoiesis. It is often due to deficiency of vitamin B12 and/or folic acid. Mild B12 deficiency is common in older persons, most often resulting from achlorhydria. Severe vitamin B12 hypovitaminosis can also result from a lack of intrinsic factor (autoimmune-mediated) causing pernicious anaemia as a consequence of B12 malabsorption.

Clinical Indications

Demonstrable macrocytic anaemia (as seen in red cell indices) Investigations of suspected subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord (a deficiency not necessarily apparent in a patient's red cell indices)

Reference range

160-800 ng/L

Sample & container required SST (gold top)
Sample volume 0.5 mL
Turnaround time 1 day