Help identify a rare inherited disease (homocystinuria) that causes a deficiency of one of several enzymes needed to convert food to energy.
Help determine a cause for otherwise unexplained blood clots.
How To Prepare
Do not eat or drink anything (other than water) for at least 8 hours before the test.
Many medicines may affect the results of this test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the nonprescription and prescription medicines you take.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form( What is a PDF document? ).
How It Is Done
The health professional drawing your blood will:
Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
Clean the needle site with alcohol.
Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
Put pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
How It Feels
The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.
You may get a small bruise at the site. You can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes.
In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be used several times a day to treat this.
A homocysteine test measures the amount of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood.
Results are ready in 24 hours.
The normal values listed hereâ€”called a reference rangeâ€”are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what’s normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.