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Vitamin B12 deficiency: correction of P-methylmalonic acid for estimated glomerular filtration rate to improve diagnostic value–a confirmatory study

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Objectives: For diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency, plasma methylmalonic acid (P-MMA) is considered superior to plasma vitamin B12 (P-B12). Reduced kidney function elevates P-MMA, hence, hampering P-MMA as a biomarker. We assessed whether correcting P-MMA for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) can affect the estimated prevalence of B12 deficiency. Methods: We included 115,245 patients with concomitant measurements of P-MMA, P-B12 and P-Creatinine. B12 deficiency was classified using P-MMA decision limits at >0.75 and >0.43 µmol/L. The non-linear relation between eGFR and P-MMA was estimated using spline regression. We calculated the percentage-wise reclassification of B12 deficiency by using an eGFR corrected P-MMA formula with eGFR reference points of 90 and 60 mL/min. Results: 6% with B12 deficiency were reclassified as non-deficient after adjusting for eGFR (reference point eGFR 90 mL/min) with both P-MMA decision limits. Overall B12 deficiency prevalence was reduced from 9.6% to 9.0% (P-MMA decision limit 0.43 µmol/L). With P-MMA decision limits at 0.75 and 0.43 µmol/L, 33.6% and 44.8% of B12 deficient patients with an eGFR <60 mL/min were reclassified as non-deficient. Conclusions: We have demonstrated that correcting P-MMA for eGFR can reclassify P-MMA levels across decision limits for diagnosing B12 deficiency, in particular for patients with reduced kidney function. This may have clinical implications for avoiding overdiagnosis of this chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesScandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Medisinsk Fysiologisk Forenings Forlag (MFFF).

    Research areas

  • estimated glomerular filtration rate, kidney dysfunction, methylmalonic acid, Vitamin B12, vitamin B12 deficiency

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