Preferred Sample Type

Vitamin C

Suitable Specimen Types

  • Li Hep Plasma
2 mL Plasma-Lithium Heparin (frozen)- 2 Tubes

Specimen Transport

Transport on dry ice.

Sample Processing in Laboratory

Plasma/serum must be separated within 2 hours of collection.

Can be sent by first class post at the beginning of the week.

Sample Preparation

Need to obtain special collection tube from reference lab before bleeding patient. Please contact DB.

On receipt in laboratory: add freshly prepared 10g/dL Metaphosphoric acid (MPA). Place plasma/serum immediately into MPA (1:1 dilution). Spin and store at -70 ºC.

Turnaround Time

3 weeks

Sample Stability

-70 ºC

Vitamin C

General Information

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a continuous supply of such vitamins in your diet. It is rapidly broken down by heating. Absorption occurs readily, mostly from the stomach and is found in most tissues. The half life in the body is about 2 weeks. Loss occurs in the urine.


Vitamin C is a cofactor for procollagen hydroxylase and hence plays a vital role in connective tissue integrity. It also has an antioxidant role and is involved in hormone, neurotransmitter and carnitine synthesis.




Deficiency (which is rare in western cultures) can lead to fatigue and easy bruising. Structurally weakened tissue(scurvy) which is swollen, tender and bleeding.




Large doses of vitamin C have generally been considered nontoxic. Gastrointestinal symptoms, vitamin B12 deficiency, increased iron absorption, and increased oxalate production may occur.


Patient Preparation

Withold any Vitamin C treatment until sample taken.


Analysis is not routinely available and any requests should be referred to the Duty Biochemist on Bleep 2506.


Preferably, 2 samples to be provided.


Reference lab would need to be contacted before sending a sample. Ext 64067


Reference Range

4-20mg/l Provided by Reference Laboratory


  • EQA Scheme?: No
  • EQA Status: No EQA scheme available.

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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