Vitamin B1 - blood

Last updated: Tuesday, 30, March, 2004

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Item Process

2 mL blood in lithium heparin tube.

Sample must be collected prior to vitamin therapy.


Assay of red cell thiamin pyrophosphate by HPLC.

Indirect: spectrophotometric assay of red cell transketolase with and without added thiamin pyrophosphate.

Reference Interval

Consult pathologist.


Rarely indicated for the detection of vitamin B1 deficiency.

Testing may be indicated in suspected alcoholic or nutritional cardiomyopathy or neuropathy and in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.


While low levels are found identification of subclinical deficiency is unreliable.

Assessment of the clinical response to thiamin may be an appropriate approach to the diagnosis of vitamin B1 deficiency.


Finglas PM. Int J Vit Nutr Res 1993; 63: 270-274.