This test measures levels of Vitamin A in the blood. Vitamin A, also known as Retinol, is an essential nutrient for healthy skin, healthy eyes and vision, bone growth, immune function and embryonic development. The body cannot produce Vitamin A so it must come from the food a person eats. Deficiency of Vitamin A is rare in the United States but may occur in people who do not get enough meat, fruits and vegetables in their diet. The most common symptom of Vitamin A deficiency is night blindness. The primary causes of deficiency are malnutrition and malabsorption disorders such as Celiac Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, and Chronic Pancreatitis. Vitamin A toxicity is typically due to the overuse of supplements but may also be caused by diets which include large amounts of foods such as liver which are high in Vitamin A.
This test is typically ordered when a person has symptoms which are indicative of vitamin A deficiency such as night blindness, dry eyes, skin or hair, lesions on the skin, anemia, gray spots on the eye lining and repeated infections. It may also be used to monitor people with conditions which cause vitamin deficiencies such as Celiac Disease and Crohns Disease. Testing may also be ordered to check for Vitamin A toxicity. Because the common symptoms of toxicity are similar to other conditions, this is usually done when a person has taken high levels of supplements or has a diet high in Vitamin A rich foods.
For additional vitamin tests, please see our Vitamin Testing Category.
Turnaround time for the vitamin A blood test is typically 2-3 business days.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
The Vitamin A test requires fasting for 8 hours prior to going in for blood collection. Foods containing Vitamin A should be avoided 48 hours prior to this deficiency / toxicity testing.
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