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Carotene, plasma or serum

Lab area
Clinical Biochemistry - General
Method and equipment
Specimen type

Serum or Sodium/Lithium Heparin plasma

Specimen requirements

500 uL

Storage and transportation


Special requirements

Wrapped in foil to protect from light

Shipping information
The Hospital for Sick Children
Rapid Response Laboratory
555 University Avenue, Room 3642
Toronto, ON
M5G 1X8
Phone: 416-813-7200
Toll Free: 1-855-381-3212
Hours: 7 days/week, 24 hours/day
Background and clinical significance

The determination of carotene in serum or plasma is a useful chemical screening method for the detection of fat malabsorption. Carotene is a fat-soluable pigment that is slowly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. The absorption of carotene requires the presence of dietary lipids and bile salts. When malabsorption of fat occurs, serum carotene is greatly decreased. Carotene levels are lowest in primary malabsorption. Carotene levels are low in enteritis, many diseases associated with steatorrhea, high fever, hepatic disease and deficient diet. Carotene levels can be increased in diabetes, hyperlipedemia, carotenemia and hypothyroidism.

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