Overview of Homocysteine
What is Homocysteine?
This test is ordered to determine if you have a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency; to determine if you are at increased risk of heart attack or stroke; as a part of newborn screening to help diagnose a rare inherited disorder called homocystinuria.
The sample type collected for Homocysteine is: Blood
Preparation for Homocysteine
- Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.
Why Get Tested for Homocysteine?
- If you have signs or symptoms suggestive of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency like weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, tingling or numbness in hand or feet
- To determine your risk of heart disease like heart attack or stroke
- When an infant or child has signs or symptoms of homoystinuria
What Results of Homocysteine mean?
- Increased levels of homocysteine may be seen in vitamin B12 or folate deficiency. It should be confirmed by other tests for Vitamin B12 or folate
- Latest studies also suggest that raised homocysteine levels may be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease like heart attack or stroke
- In newborn testing, greatly increased concentrations of homocysteine in urine or blood means that it is quite likely the infant is suffering from homocystinuria
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