Biochemical Genetic Test: Homocysteine

Also known as: homocysteine blood test, total homocysteine panel.

What is the biochemical genetic test: homocysteine?

Homocysteine is an amino acid (building blocks for protein production) formed when proteins are broken down. A high homocysteine level in the blood (homocysteinemia) can cause damage to blood vessels (in adults) and may be associated with a high blood pressure and symptoms of Vitamin B-12 or folate deficiency in children. High levels of homocysteine may be due to genetic defects, endocrine abnormalities, sickle cell disease or nutritional factors.

What happens during the procedure?

A small sample of blood is drawn from a vein in the normal way.

Is any special preparation needed?

No special preparation is required for this test.

What are the risk factors?

Pain, infection, bleeding, bruising/swelling, or damage to nearby tissues are uncommon risks associated with venous puncture.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf MD.

This page was last updated on: March 26, 2019 12:26 PM