Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test

What is Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test?

A Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test is used to measure the level of methylmalonic acid in the body. Methylmalonic acid is a naturally-occurring chemical in the body, and is an important marker in the process of energy production. It is mainly produced in the intestines, and is excreted in the urine. High levels of methylmalonic acid can be indicative of kidney or liver problems, as well as metabolic disorders such as B12 and folate deficiencies.

Why Is a Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test Needed?

Methylmalonic acid testing is used to diagnose a variety of disorders. It is most commonly used to diagnose:

  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • B12 deficiency
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Folate deficiency

Types of Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Tests

There are three different types of methylmalonic acid tests that can be performed:

  • Urinary MMA tests: This test measures the amount of methylmalonic acid in the urine.
  • Blood MMA tests: This test measures the amount of methylmalonic acid in the blood.
  • Liver MMA tests: This test uses a sample of liver tissue to measure the amount of methylmalonic acid.

How to Prepare for a Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test

Generally, you do not need to do anything to prepare for an MMA test. However, you should tell your doctor if you are taking any medications, or if you have any allergies or medical conditions that might affect the test results.

What Happens During a Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test?

The specific procedure for an MMA test will depend on the type of test being performed. Generally, a sample of blood, urine, or liver tissue will be collected, and then sent to a laboratory for testing. Unfortunately, the results of the test can take several days to be available.

Risks of a Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test

MMA tests are generally considered to be safe. However, there is a slight risk of infection if the sample is taken from an area of the body that is not properly sanitized.

When Is a Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test Needed?

A methylmalonic acid test is usually ordered when a doctor suspects a metabolic disorder, such as B12 or folate deficiency, or when a person has signs and symptoms of kidney or liver problems.