Vitamin B12 measurement is used to check hypovitaminosis, monitor supplement therapy, and investigate patients with macrocytic or megaloblastic anemia.
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin derived from foods of animal origin and is essential for the synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the body. It can be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract only when the endogenous factor, a glycoprotein secreted by the stomach parietal cells, is present. Although the body has a 12-month stock of vitamin B12 in the liver, kidneys, and heart, in conditions of rapid growth or in conditions that cause an increase in cell metabolism, the body's needs for vitamin B12 increase.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include anemia, red and sore tongue (glossitis), and neurological abnormalities.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, hepatic cell damage, leukemia (chronic granulocytic), obesity, true polycythemia, renal failure (chronic)
- Decrease: Anemia (malignant), atrophic gastritis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SIBO), congenital transcobalamin II deficiency, Crohn's disease, gastrectomy or gastric bypass (removal of the parietal cells), hepatitis (alcoholic), ileal diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, tapeworms and other intestinal parasites and worms, endogenous factor deficiency (malignant anemia), malabsorption, malnutrition, pancreatic insufficiency, sickle cell anemia, (severe) vegetarianism. Medications: p-aminosalicylic acid, antibacterials (neomycin), colchicine, omeprazole
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.