Vitamin D3 - Deficiency Test
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the major form of vitamin D, is endogenously produced in the skin by the sun's ultraviolet rays and occurs naturally in fish liver oils, egg yolks, liver, and butter.
This test, a competitive protein binding assay, determines serum levels of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol after chromatography has separated it from other vitamin D metabolites and contaminants. It's commonly combined with measurement of serum calcium and alkaline phosphatase levels.
Procedure and posttest care
In summer, the range for serum 25hydroxycholecalciferol values is from 15 to 80 ng/ml; in winter, it's 14 to 42 ng/ml.
Low or undetectable levels may result from vitamin D deficiency, which can cause rickets or osteomalacia. Such deficiency may stem from poor diet, decreased exposure to the sun, or impaired absorption of vitamin D (secondary to hepatobiliary disease, pancreatitis, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, or gastric or small-bowel resection). Low levels may also be related to various hepatic diseases that directly affect vitamin D metabolism.
Elevated levels (> 100 ng/ml) may indicate toxicity due to excessive self-medication or prolonged therapy. Elevated levels associated with hypercalcemia may be due to hypersensitivity to vitamin D, as in sarcoidosis.
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