Preferred Sample Type

Vitamin A

Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
1 mL (minimum volume 0.5 mL)

Specimen Transport

Ambient temperature, protect from light.

Sample Processing in Laboratory

Protect from light.

Sample Preparation

Centrifuge immediately on receipt and store. Protect from light.

Turnaround Time

3 Weeks

Sample Stability

Samples should be stored protected from light at -20°C prior to analysis

Vitamin A

General Information

Vitamin A is essential for night-vision and helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes and skin. It may also be needed for reproduction and breast-feeding. Vitamin A is found in animal liver, whole milk, and some fortified foods. Vitamin A toxicity is rare but can cause foetal malformations during pregnancy and liver damage. Since vitamin A is fat-soluble, deficiencies are mainly associated with malnutrition and diseases that cause chronic fat malabsorption. Premature/low birth weight infants that have low body stores of fat are often vitamin A deficient.

Symptoms of deficiency include:

- night-blindness,

- dry skin and eyes,

- hair and weight loss,

- reduced libido

- gum disease

- infections.

Patient Preparation



Protect sample from light immediately after collection.

Reference Range

Up to 6   = 0.70 – 1.50 umol/L
7 – 12 yrs = 0.90 – 1.70 umol/L
13 – 18yrs = 0.90 – 2.50 umol/L
Adult Males = 0.77 – 3.95 umol/L
Adult Females = 0.99 – 3.35 umol/L

Source of Reference Range

Reference range derived by City Hospital Birmingham


  • EQA Scheme?: Yes

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HTA licence number is 12366

Protection of Personal Information – Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection Policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and it’s employees to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235