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Purpose of the test:
Helps confirm diagnosis of megaloblastic anemia
Helps distinguish between folic-acid deficiency and vitamin B-12 deficiency
Assesses the amount of folic acid stored during pregnancy. An inadequate dietary intake can cause a deficiency, especially during pregnancy

Patient preparation:
Don't eat any food or drink any liquid for at least 12 hours before the test. Do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours before the test.

Time before test results available:
Test requires only a few minutes in the laboratory. Time before results are reported to the doctor or patient varies from a few minutes to a few days.

Normal values:
Folic-acid values range from 2 to 14ng/ml

What "high" or "increased" may indicate:
Liver disease

What "low" or "decreased" may indicate:
Inadequate ingestion of folic acid from natural sources (common in vegetarians)
Malabsorption syndromes
Pernicious anemia

Taking these drugs may affect test results:

Other factors that may affect test results:
Failure to fast overnight
If tourniquet is applied on the arm too long (over 1 minute), it may cause an inaccurate test result. Request another sample to be collected to ensure accuracy.

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