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Patterns of plasma cobalamins in control subjects and in cases of vitamin B12 deficiency
  1. J. C. Linnell,
  2. Heather M. Mackenzie,
  3. J. Wilson,
  4. D. M. Matthews
  1. Department of Chemical Pathology, Westminster Medical School, London
  2. Medical Research Council Clinical Genetics Research Unit, Institute of Neurology, London

    Abstract

    A method for thin-layer chromatography and bioautography of plasma cobalamins is described. It requires only 5 ml of blood.

    Results are reported in 35 healthy people and hospital controls, and in 14 cases of untreated pernicious anaemia. In the control group there were two major components, methylcobalamin and a component which is probably a mixture of hydroxocobalamin and deoxyadenosyl cobalamin. Many cases of untreated pernicious anaemia showed a characteristic pattern in which methylcobalamin was reduced in relation to hydroxocobalamin. This pattern was also seen in one vegan who was taking a diet without B12 supplement. A minority of subjects showed traces of cyanocobalamin; this compound was not confined to smokers.

    The significance of the results and possible diagnostic utility of the technique are discussed.

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