Vitamin E

Keywords: Tocopherol

Specimen:

5 mL blood in lithium heparin or plain tube.

Method:

HPLC.

Reference Interval:

Varies with diet, and lipid status.

Child: 7-35 µmol/L

Adult: 11-46 µmol/L.

Application:

Investigation of haemolysis in infants (especially premature); monitoring of children with severe, chronic fat malabsorption (especially chronic cholestasis) in whom a progressive cerebellar and sensory dysfunction may develop.

An ataxic syndrome is also present in the autosomal recessive disease tocopherol transfer protein deficiency, which is associated with low levels of plasma vitamin E. Also low in abetalipoproteinaemia and hypobetalipoproteinaemia.

Interpretation:

Low levels indicate deficiency, however, vitamin E is carried in plasma lipoproteins, and hyperlipidaemia may disguise an underlying deficiency, especially in patients with cholestasis.

Reference:

Jha P et al. Ann Int Med 1995; 123: 860-872.