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Schilling test

Vitamin B12 absorption test

 

The Schilling can determine whether the body absorbs vitamin B12 normally. It checks for certain types of anemia that are caused by a low vitamin B12 level.

This test is rarely, if ever, done today.

 

References

Antony AC. Megaloblastic anemias. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, Anastasi J, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 37.

Hogenauer C, Hammer HF. Maldigestion and malabsorption. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 104.

 
  • Schilling test

    Schilling test - illustration

    The Schilling test is performed to evaluate vitamin B12 absorption. B12 helps in the formation of red blood cells, the maintenance of the central nervous system, and is important for metabolism. Normally, ingested vitamin B12 combines with intrinsic factor, which is produced by cells in the stomach. Intrinsic factor is necessary for vitamin B12 to be absorbed in the small intestine. Certain diseases, such as pernicious anemia, can result when absorption of vitamin B12 is inadequate.

    Schilling test

    illustration

    • Schilling test

      Schilling test - illustration

      The Schilling test is performed to evaluate vitamin B12 absorption. B12 helps in the formation of red blood cells, the maintenance of the central nervous system, and is important for metabolism. Normally, ingested vitamin B12 combines with intrinsic factor, which is produced by cells in the stomach. Intrinsic factor is necessary for vitamin B12 to be absorbed in the small intestine. Certain diseases, such as pernicious anemia, can result when absorption of vitamin B12 is inadequate.

      Schilling test

      illustration

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          Review Date: 2/11/2016

          Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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