Carotene

Keywords: Beta carotene

Specimen:

10 mL blood in plain tube. Protect specimen from light by covering tube with foil.

Method:

Spectrophotometry, HPLC.

Reference Interval:

0.1-1.8 µmol/L in adults.

Application:

Suspected fat malabsorption. Faecal fat excretion provides a more reliable assessment.

Identification of carotenaemia as the cause of yellow skin.

Interpretation:

Low levels of fat soluble carotenes are found with malabsorption of fat. A more reliable assessment is to measure vitamin A or faecal fat excretion. Low levels are sometimes used as an index of malnutrition.

High levels of carotene are found with excessive intake, in Hypothyroidism, and in certain types of Hyperlipidaemia.

If beta carotene is measured the reference interval is less than for total carotene.

Reference:

Romano TJ and Dobbins JW. Gastroenterol Clin North Am 1989; 18(3): 467-483.