Specimen Requirements


Folate (Folic Acid)

Specimen Requirement

1 SST/1.0 mL serum. After 30 minutes of clotting, promptly centrifuge and refrigerate serum. Hemolysis significantly affects Folate values.



Refrigerated: 48 hours; Frozen: 30 days

Reference Range

By Report


1 day

Clinical Use

Low folate intake, malabsorption as a result of gastrointestinal diseases, pregnancy, and drugs such as phenytoin are causes of Folate deficiency. Folate deficiency is also associated with chronic alcoholism. Folate and vitamin B12 deficiency impair DNA synthesis, causing macrocytic anemias. These anemias are characterized by abnormal maturation of red blood cell precursors in the bone marrow, the presence of megaloblasts and decreased red blood cell survival. Serum folate measurement provides an early index of folate status.

Test Code