Vitamin E - plasma or serum

Last updated: Wednesday, 31, March, 2004

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Item Process

5 mL blood in lithium heparin or plain tube.


HPLC. A functional assay using measurement of peroxide-induced haemolysis is performed by some laboratories.

Reference Interval

Varies somewhat with diet.

Child: 7-35 µmol/L

Adult: 11-46 µmol/L.


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 hypobetalipoproteinaemia.

A role in the investigation of atherosclerosis in individual patients has not been established.


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


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