Free Fatty Acids
Label Mnemonic: FFA
Epic Lab Code: LAB3176
Downtime Form: A-1a Doctor/Provider Orders - Pathology Core and Specialty Care Nursery
Commercial Mail-out Laboratory
5231 RCP
Specimen Instructions:
Draw blood in a plain, red-top tube(s) following an overnight (12-14 hour) fast. Patient must not consume any alcohol for 24 hours before the specimen is drawn.
Collection Medium:
Red top tube 5 mL (Clot Activator)
1 mL serum
Delivery Instructions:
Submit specimen to laboratory as soon as possible after collection.
Turn Around Time:
1 day upon receipt at reference laboratory (not reported on Saturday or Sunday)
Reference Range:
> or =16 years: 0.00-0.72 mmol/L
Reference values have not been established for patients that are <16 years of age.
Interpretive Data:
Abnormally high levels of free fatty acids are associated with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and with conditions that involve excessive release of a lipoactive hormone such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, glucagon, thyrotropin, and adrenocortocotropin.
Useful For:
Evaluation of metabolic status of persons with endocrinopathies

Detection of pheochromocytoma and of glucagon-, thyrotropin-, and adrenocorticotropin-secreting tumors

Monitoring of control of diabetes mellitus (serum-free glycerol is a very useful companion test in assessing diabetes and may be ordered by special request from Mayo Medical Laboratories). The correlation with insulin resistance and downstream cardiovascular risk may be a useful treatment aid in some patients.

Patient should fast for 12 to 14 hours; however, in prolonged fasting or starvation, free fatty acid levels rise as much as 3-fold.

Patient should abstain from alcohol for at least 24 hours.

In order to eliminate the generation of free fatty acids from triglycerides by serum lipases (causing erroneous elevations), serum should be frozen soon after it is drawn and shipped frozen.
Enzymatic Colorimetric
CPT Code: