Jan 10, 2018: Does Biotin Interfere with Lab Tests?


Thanks for all the comments about Propofol . The question of anticonvulsant activity is much misunderstood.  Just remember that it is dose-dependent and that at many of the doses used for sedation, there is not anticonvulsant activity.  

According to a recent JAMA article, ingesting 10 mg/d of biotin for 1 week was associated with potentially clinically important assay interference in some but not all biotinylated assays studied. 

So I asked Jennifer Colby, PhD., Chief of the analytical toxicology lab if biotin ingestion had any effect on the tests that were run at Vanderbilt.  This was her reply, 

“The vast majority of the tests we perform at VUMC are not subject to biotin interference, but we have identified 10 tests that may be affected.  Starting 1/8/18, results from these tests will display with an explanatory comment.  The potentially affected VUMC tests are:

  • Anti-thyroglobulin Antibody
  • Anti-TPO Antibody
  • Gastrin
  • Inhibin A
  • Intraoperative Cortisol
  • Intraoperative PTH
  • NT-proBNP
  • Thyroglobulin
  • Vitamin D (25-hydroxy)

The rest of our test menu is “safe” for patients receiving high-dose biotin (ie, >5 mg/day).  If you are concerned about possible interference in a test that was not performed by VUMC, you should contact the performing laboratory directly.”

Good for all of us to know.  So many patients take supplements.  Remember to specifically ask about biotin.

This Question was prepared by Donna Seger, MD, Medical Director, Tennessee Poison Center

I am interested in any questions you would like answered in the Question of the Week.  Please email me with any suggestion at donna.seger@vanderbilt.edu

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