Vitamin A blood test

What is Vitamin A Blood Test?

Vitamin A Blood Test is a laboratory test used to measure the level of Vitamin A in the patient’s blood. Vitamin A is a nutrient found in a variety of foods including milk, liver, fish, cod liver oil, spinach, and carrots. It is mainly important for maintaining good vision, growth, and healthy skin.

Preparation for Vitamin A Blood Test

Before getting tested, it is important for the patient to follow certain instructions provided by the doctor. Generally, it is suggested to fast overnight before getting tested in the morning. Taking any medications, supplements, or vitamins should be discontinued a few days before the test. In addition, wear a gown and arm-baring clothing since a blood sample may be liable from the patient's arm.

Procedure for Vitamin A Blood Test

  • The patient will be asked to remove the clothing from the waist up and lie down on the examination table.
  • The doctor or a certified technician will tie an elastic band around the upper arm to make the veins prominent.
  • A swab will be swiped over the skin to sterilize the area where the needle will be inserted.
  • A needle will be inserted into the patient’s vein and a tube attached to it for withdrawing blood.
  • Once the required amount of blood sample is collected, the needle is taken out and pressure is applied to the punctured area with a swab to stop bleeding.
  • The blood sample is sent to the laboratory for analysis.

Types of Vitamin A Blood Test

Common types of Vitamin A Blood Tests include:

  • Vitamin A Retinol: This test is used to measure the level of active Vitamin A in the patient’s bloodstream.
  • Total Vitamin A: This is a quantitative test which measures both active and stored Vitamin A in the blood.
  • Vitamin A Carotene: This test helps in measuring only carotenoid forms of Vitamin A found in the blood.

Risks Involved in Vitamin A Blood Test

The risks involved in a Vitamin A Blood Test are low. Generally, this test is a low-risk procedure. They include:

  • Mild discomfort due to the needle prick
  • Bruising or swelling due to the needle prick
  • Risk of infection, if proper hygiene is not maintained

Why is Vitamin A Blood Test Done?

Vitamin A Blood Test is generally used to screen, diagnose, and monitor the level of Vitamin A in the patient’s body. It helps to identify if the patient is suffering from any Vitamin A related complications such as:

  • Vitamin A deficiencies due to malabsorption
  • Hypervitaminosis A, which is a condition associated with too much Vitamin A
  • Liver disorders
  • Infections
  • Retinoids therapy

When is Vitamin A Blood Test Recommended?

A Vitamin A Blood Test is recommended when the patient is experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Night blindness
  • Dry skin/scalp
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Poor appetite
  • Coughing and wheezing

In addition, a doctor may sometimes recommend it to monitor the effectiveness of Vitamin A therapy.