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Test ID: A862

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Folate is an important nutrient that is naturally present in many foods. Folate deficiency usually occurs due to poor diet, alcoholism, and malabsorptive disorders, as well as a higher risk in pregnant women, due to the increased demands for folate for the developing fetus. The primary clinical sign of deficiency is megaloblastic anemia, which causes weakness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, headaches, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Females with low folate intake are at increased risk of giving birth to infants with neural tube defects, low birth weight, preterm delivery, and fetal growth retardation.



How to order a test

What is Included?

Measurement of blood folate levels by chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay.

Turnaround Time

1 – 3 business days
The turnaround time is not guaranteed. The average turnaround time is 1 – 3 business days from the date that the sample arrives at the laboratory. Shipping time for the sample is not included. Additional time is required if the case requires confirmatory or reflex testing, or if the sample is insufficient, or if a recollection is required.

Related Documents


Preparation Before Specimen Collection

Collect blood sample for this test after fasting overnight (for 8–12 hours). Fasting means that no food or drink (aside from water) is to be consumed.

Supplements containing folic acid taken within the five days prior to sample collection will result in higher folate levels than normal.

Specimen Type



50 μL in a microtainer


Microtainer (regular blood tube)

Collection Method

This test requires a blood sample from a finger prick. All supplies for sample collection are provided in the kit.

  1. First wash and dry hands. Warm hands aid in blood collection.
  2. Clean the finger prick site with the alcohol swab and allow to air dry.
  3. Use the provided lancet to puncture the skin in one quick, continuous and deliberate stroke.
  4. Wipe away the first drop of blood.
  5. Massage hand and finger to increase blood flow to the puncture site. Angle arm and hand downwards to facilitate blood collection on the fingertip.
  6. Drip blood into the microtainer tube.
  7. Dispose of all sharps safely and return sample to the laboratory in the provided prepaid return shipping envelope.

NOTES: Avoid squeezing or ‘milking’ the finger excessively. If more blood is required and blood flow stops, perform a second skin puncture on another finger. Do not touch the fingertip.

Specimen Storage

Maintain specimen at temperatures between 2°C and 30°C during storage and transport.

Ensure that the blood sample is not exposed to bright light.

Specimen Stability

Blood samples can be refrigerated or kept at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Causes for Rejection

  • Incorrect or incomplete patient identification
  • Incorrect specimen collection
  • Inappropriate storage and transport conditions
  • Incorrect specimen volume



To measure folate levels in a blood sample for the detection of folate deficiency, to monitor therapy for folate, and to evaluate megaloblastic and macrocytic anemia.


  • This report is not intended for use in medico-legal applications.
  • These results should be interpreted in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical information.
  • Correct specimen collection and handling is required for optimal assay performance. Samples should be protected from light, as light accelerates the degradation of folate.
  • False results may occur in specimens from individuals that have received preparations of mouse monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis or therapy. Additional clinical or diagnostic information may be required for these specimens.
  • Assay interference may occur in specimens from individuals routinely exposed to animals or to animal serum products. Additional clinical or diagnostic information may be required for these specimens.
  • Specimens from individuals with renal impairment or failure may result in falsely depressed folate values.
  • Some chemotherapeutic agents, including methotrexate, aminopterin, and folinic acid, cross react with folate binding protein in this assay.


Chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (Alinity i Folate assay)

Reference Intervals

Serum/Plasma: 3.1 – 20.5 ng/mL

Folate deficiency is typically associated with serum levels less than 3.5 ng/mL.

This reference range was obtained from the Alinity i Folate package insert.