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Vitamin A and Carotene

Test ID: 


CPT code:

82380, 84590

Clinical Use:

A combination of a low serum carotene level and a low vitamin A suggests inadequate vitamin A nutrition.

Specimen Type:

Serum; beta carotene protected from light

Requested Volume: 

Two aliquots: 0.8 mL each

Minimum Volume: 

Two aliquots: 0.4 mL each

Container Type: 

Vitamin A can be shipped in red-top tube or gel-barrier tube; beta carotene should be shipped in amber plastic transport tube with amber top. (If amber tubes are unavailable, cover standard transport tubes completely, top and bottom, with aluminum foil. Identify specimens with the patient’s name directly on the containers and on the outside of the aluminum foil. Secure with tape.)

Patient Preparation: 

Patient should fast for 12 hours and abstain from alcohol for 24 hours prior to collection. For those who are younger than six months, draw prior to next feeding. Blood should be collected before breakfast in the morning and prior to any medication.


Transfer specimens to separate amber plastic transport tubes. Beta carotene should be shipped in amber plastic transport tube with amber top.

Storage Instructions:

Room temperature. Beta carotene should be light-protected.

Stability Requirements:



Room temperature

14 days


14 days


14 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3

Rejection Criteria

Beta carotene specimen not protected from light; sample type other than serum received

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