Follow Fasting Instructions to Ensure Accurate Test Results

Homocysteine Test Helps Determine Heart Disease Risks and Treatment

Also known as: Plasma total homocysteine

Your doctor may order a blood test for the amino acid, homocysteine, to help assess your risk for stroke or a heart attack.  You may be at greater risk if your blood homocysteine levels are found to be high. Your doctor also may order this test following a stroke or heart attack to help determine your best treatment options.

Preparation and Procedure

  • You do not need to schedule an appointment for this test.
  • Before going to the lab, you will need to follow your doctor’s fasting instructions.
  • Arrive at the lab and sign in at the desk. Be sure to wear clothing with sleeves that are easily rolled up.
  • A phlebotomist will draw blood from your arm for a specimen.

Time Required

It takes approximately 45 minutes to register at the lab and complete your blood draw. Results from the test are typically sent to your doctor within days; be assured, however, that any critical results are communicated immediately. Your doctor will discuss the results with you once he or she has reviewed them.


Michigan law requires that a valid order signed by an authorized person be presented before any laboratory test or procedure can be conducted. Authorized persons are defined as physicians, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners. These professionals are legally responsible for interpreting the results of tests based on their knowledge of the individual patient.

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