The RBC-folate test is a blood test conducted to detect folate deficiency in the blood.
What is the RBC-folate test?
Folate(B9) is a vitamin which we usually get from our diet. The deficiency of RBC-folate represents its low intake or absorptive problems. The concentration of RBC-folate is less sensitive to short-term dietary deficiencies than plasma-folate; hence, the RBC-folate test is preferred.
Why is the RBC-Folate test suggested?
The RBC-Folate test may be suggested for various causes in the following cases:
- As a diagnosis for anemia.
- To assess the cause of abnormal Complete Blood Count (CBC) results.
- To monitor treatment for folate deficiency.
- As a routine check-up in case of pregnancy.
How is the RBC-Folate test performed?
The RBC-folate test is usually performed in specialized laboratories in the following steps:
- Blood is drawn with a needle from the arm.
- The sample is analyzed using special techniques.
The test provider explains the results of the RBC-folate test.
What are the parameters measured in the RBC-Folate test?
The RBC-folate test measures the amount of Vitamin B9 or folate in the blood. Low levels of RBC-folate are indicative of malnutrition or malabsorption. Further tests are often required. Normal or elevated results of the RBC-folate test may be seen in people being treated for deficiency.
Preparation before performing the RBC-Folate test
The patient should inform the doctor of any underlying health conditions. Furthermore,
- Fasting for 6-8 hours may be recommended.
- The doctor may ask the patient to stop certain medications before the RBC-Folate test.
Post-care after the RBC-Folate test
Since the RBC-Folate test is a blood test, the patient may take post-care measures including
- Eating and drinking to compensate for fasting.
- Not straining the site of injection.
Sample types in the RBC-Folate test
Blood is extracted from a vein in the arm for the RBC-Folate test. This includes
- Whole blood sample (2 tubes).
- Blood serum in some cases.
Side effects/risks of RBC-Folate test
There aren’t any specific risks with RBC-folate test except the standard risks that come with any blood test, including
- Eye pain.