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Vitamin B12

Test ID: A864

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Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods. It is required for red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 deficiency is most often caused by malabsorption from food, pernicious anemia, or dietary deficiency. Deficiency is characterized by megaloblastic anemia, which causes weakness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, headaches, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.



How to order a test


  • Cobalamin

What is Included?

Measurement of blood vitamin B12 levels by chemiluminescent microparticle Intrinsic Factor assay.

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

Additional Information and Resources


Preparation Before Specimen Collection


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.

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 vitamin B12 levels in a blood sample for the detection of vitamin B12 deficiency.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hemolysis exhibits negative interference in this assay


Chemiluminescent microparticle Intrinsic Factor assay (Alinity i B12 assay)

Reference Intervals

200 – 835 pg/mL

This reference range was obtained from Reed R. (2020). Clinical Chemistry Learning Guide Series. Editors Armbruster D & Cooper K. Abbott.

Levels above 300 or 400 pg/mL are rarely associated with B12 deficiency induced hematological or neurological disease, respectively. Further testing is suggested for symptomatic patients with B12 levels between 100 and 300 pg/mL (hematological abnormalities), and between 100 and 400 pg/mL (neurological abnormalities).