Homocysteine Test

What is the Homocysteine Test?

The Homocysteine test is a blood test that measures the level of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced naturally in the body and it is important for the healthy functioning of the body. High levels of homocysteine can lead to serious health problems and poor circulation. The homocysteine test can help diagnose and monitor serious conditions such as stroke, heart attack, and coronary artery disease.

Preparation for Homocysteine Test

No special preparation is necessary prior to a homocysteine blood test, but it is best to be well hydrated and rested. The blood sample typically is collected from a vein in the forearm or the back of the hand.

Types of Homocysteine Tests

The Homocysteine test measures the amount of homocysteine in the blood. The two types of tests used to measure homocysteine levels are:

  • Serum Homocysteine Test
  • Plasma Homocysteine Test

Risks of Homocysteine Test

The risks of a homocysteine test are minimal. They include:

  • Bruising at the puncture site
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Infection

Why is a Homocysteine Test Needed?

In some people, the body produces too much homocysteine, leading to serious health problems, such as stroke, heart attack, and coronary artery disease. A homocysteine test is used to diagnose and monitor these conditions.

When is a Homocysteine Test Done?

Your doctor may recommend a Homocysteine test if you are at risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease or stroke. If you have heart disease or are a smoker, you may also need to have a Homocysteine test to monitor your health and to make sure that your body is producing enough homocysteine.