- Start Date
- Expiration Date
- Provitamin A
- CPT Codes
- Reference Test
- ATLAS Test Code
Gold, SST, protected from light
- Transport Info
Centrifuge and immediately transfer serum to light-protected (amber) plastic tube
If light-protected tube unavailable, wrap the specimen in foil
- Fasting Required?
- Patient Instructions
Wrap tube in foil to protect sample from light exposure
Do not place specimen label over foil wrap
- Reference Range
Useful as a screening method for the detection of malabsorption of fat.
Carotene or provitamin A determination in serum is the most useful single screening method for the detection of malabsorption of fat. Carotene is a fat-soluble pigment that is slowly absorbed. It is found in leafy vegetables, fruits, and liver. The absorption of carotene requires the presence of dietary lipids; limited amounts of these lipids are stored in the liver. When malabsorption of fats occurs, serum carotene is greatly decreased.Carotene levels are lowest in primary malabsorption. Levels may also be low in enteritis and many diseases associated with steatorrhea. High fever, hepatic disease, and deficient diet may also cause low carotene levels.Carotene values are increased in diabetes, hyperlipemia, carotenemia, and hypothyroidism.