Document Detail

Red cell or serum folate: what to do in clinical practice?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23449524     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract Folate deficiency has been linked to diverse clinical manifestations and despite the importance of accurate assessment of folate status, the best test for routine use is uncertain. Both serum and red cell folate assays are widely available in clinical laboratories; however, red cell folate is the more time-consuming and costly test. This review sought to evaluate whether the red cell assay demonstrated superior performance characteristics to justify these disadvantages. Red cell folate, but not serum folate, measurements demonstrated analytical variation due to sample pre-treatment parameters, oxygen saturation of haemoglobin and haematocrit. Neither marker was clearly superior in characterising deficiency but serum folate more frequently showed the higher correlation with homocysteine, a sensitive marker of deficiency. Similarly, both serum and red cell folate were shown to increase in response to folic acid supplementation. However, serum folate generally gave the greater response and was able to distinguish different supplementation doses. The C677T polymorphism of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase alters the distribution of folate forms in red cells and may thereby cause further analytical variability in routine red cell folate assays. Overall, serum folate is cheaper and faster to perform than red cell folate, is influenced by fewer analytical variables and provides an assessment of folate status that may be superior to red cell folate.
Christopher-John L Farrell; Susanne H Kirsch; Markus Herrmann
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine : CCLM / FESCC     Volume:  51     ISSN:  1434-6621     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Chem. Lab. Med.     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-03-01     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9806306     Medline TA:  Clin Chem Lab Med     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  555-69     Citation Subset:  IM    
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