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Paediatric Laboratory Medicine

Carotene, Blood

Clinical Significance

The determination of carotene in serum or plasma is a useful chemical screening method for the detection of fat malabsorption. Carotene is a fat-soluable pigment that is slowly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. The absorption of carotene requires the presence of dietary lipids and bile salts. When malabsorption of fat occurs, serum carotene is greatly decreased. Carotene levels are lowest in primary malabsorption. Carotene levels are low in enteritis, many diseases associated with steatorrhea, high fever, hepatic disease and deficient diet. Carotene levels can be increased in diabetes, hyperlipedemia, carotenemia and hypothyroidism.

Test Name

Carotene, Blood

Test Code



Biochemistry - Biochemistry



Turn Around Time


Specimen Type

Serum or Sodium/Lithium Heparin plasma

Minimum Specimen Requirements

500 uL



Special Requirements

Wrapped in foil to protect from light

Approval is not required

CPT Codes


Shipping and Contact Information

The Hospital for Sick Children
Rapid Response Laboratory
170 Elizabeth Street, Room 3642
Toronto, ON
M5G 2G3
Phone: 416-813-7200
Phone: 1-855-381-3212

Reference Range

0.9-3.7 µmol/L