Fructosamine Test

fructosamine test

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is Fructosamine?

Fructosamine is a compound that is formed by a reaction between glucose and ammonia or an amine. Fructosamine can also be formed when there is a non-enzymatic reaction between albumin, a blood protein, and glucose in the blood. Serum albumin which comprises about 80% of fructosamine can last only up to 2 to 3 weeks. So, fructosamine reflects the blood glucose level over a more recent period of only 2 to 3 weeks.

Does Fructosamine have any other names?

Fructosamine is also known as Glycated Serum Protein or GSP.

What is a Fructosamine test?

Fructosamine is a blood test that measures the average blood glucose level for the past 2 to 3 weeks. The test also measures the glycated protein or glycated Albumin (GA) in the blood. The glucose in the blood attaches itself to the proteins which circulate in the blood for 14 to 21 days. This test thus gives a definitive measurement of glucose for that particular period.

Why do I need a Fructosamine test?

The Fructosamine test is done to help diabetic patients to monitor their blood sugar levels. Unlike, the hemoglobin A1c test, the Fructosamine test is not done to diagnose diabetes in non-diabetic patients. It is considered to be a more reliable tool for monitoring diabetes and also to get additional information such as:

– To monitor changes in blood glucose level if there has been a change in medications or insulin dosage.

-To assess the effectiveness of a new treatment that has been started over a few weeks.

-If you have changed your diet or an exercise regimen.

– It can also be done during diabetic pregnancy to track week-to-week blood glucose levels.

– The test can also be done if the person is suffering from sickle cell disease, hemolytic anemia or any medical condition that affects the hemoglobin levels of the blood.

When to get tested?

Your health care practitioner may order a serum Fructosamine test to monitor the blood glucose level over a short period or an immediate time frame like 2 to 3 weeks. The test is also done if there is a change in:

– Treatment plan.
– Dosage of medication.
– Change in diet.
– Change in the exercise regimen.

The test can also be done during diabetic pregnancy. In gestational diabetes, doctors can order a Fructosamine test to monitor the disease progression or to see the effects of change in medication over a particular time. The Fructosamine test may also be ordered if a person has an abnormal hemoglobin count or decreased life-span of RBC. In such cases, an HbA1C test may not be reliable or may give inconclusive results.

How do I prepare for the test?

There are no special preparations needed for the test. However, you need to inform your doctor if:

– You are taking any particular medication.
– There has been a recent change in the dosage.
– You have any allergies.

Do I need to fast before the test?

No. Since Serum Fructosamine measures the average blood glucose level and glycated protein for a period of 2 to 3 weeks, there is no need to fast before the test. You can take your regular meals before the test.

When can the test be taken?

The test can be taken during any time of the day.

How is the test done?

The test is a simple blood test. A blood sample is withdrawn from the vein of your arm.

– You may visit your nearby laboratory or a technician may come to your home and withdraw the blood sample.

– You will be required to wear a short-sleeved shirt or top for the convenience of the test.

– The technician will clean a small patch of your skin on the upper part of your arm with an antiseptic solution.

– A tourniquet or an elastic band is tied across your arm. This will swell up the veins and makes it easier to draw the blood.

– A small needle will be inserted into the vein and blood will be collected into a vial or a syringe.

– The tourniquet is removed. A cotton swab is pressed at the puncture site to stop bleeding.

– A band-aid is then applied to the puncture site.

– The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for evaluation.

How long does the test take to perform?

The test takes only a few minutes.

When will I get my test results?

You will get your test results within a day or two.

Can I do the test at home?

No. A Fructosamine home test kit was available in the past but it has been withdrawn from the market since 2002 due to inaccurate test results.

What is the average cost of the Fructosamine test in India?

The average cost of the Fructosamine test in India can be anywhere between Rs 470 to Rs 1580 depending on the city, laboratory, and the quality of the test.

What is the normal range for Fructosamine?

Fructosamine levels chart for diabetic and nondiabetic patients.

Type Fructosamine (Range in mmol/L)
Diabetic 210-421 mmol/L
Uncontrolled Diabetes 268-870 mmol/L
Nondiabetic 175-280 mmol/L

What does my test results mean?

A high Fructosamine result means your average blood glucose level has been high for the past two to three weeks. A repeat testing is required along with other standardized tests like HbA1c or Glycated Albumin or GA tests to monitor the trend of your blood glucose level.

If the results show that your blood glucose levels are high, it indicates that you have poor control of your blood sugar. Your doctor may make changes in your diet, medication, lifestyle, or other factors to control your blood sugar levels.

If your test results show normal or returning from high to normal levels, then your blood glucose levels are under control and you are making progress.

Sometimes, your Fructosamine levels can be falsely low due to decreased protein levels or albumin levels. Fructosamine can be falsely high due to several factors such as stress or some chronic illness.

Whatever, the reports are the Fructosamine test can never be a standard protocol for screening diabetes. It is used as a part of several other tests that are used to monitor or control the disease.

What is the role of the Fructosamine test in diabetic pregnancy?

The serum Fructosamine test is a definitive tool for calculating gestational diabetes in pregnant women. It has been found that the fructosamine levels in the cord blood of gestational diabetic patients are higher than those with normal pregnancies. Furthermore, the test helps to monitor the glucose levels over short periods and also helps to detect fetal hyperglycemia.

Can the Fructosamine test be done in children?

Yes, the Fructosamine test can be used to manage childhood or adolescent diabetes mellitus. The test can be done along with other tests to control blood glucose levels of children.

What are the limitations of the Fructosamine test?

The fructosamine test is relatively new and not a standard mode for measuring blood glucose levels for diabetes. It is generally done as a part of several other tests and should never be considered as an alternative for the hemoglobin A1c test, which is the routine procedure for calculating blood glucose levels.

Further, Fructosamine levels can be low if the blood protein levels are decreased especially if the person is suffering from hepatic diseases or nephrotic syndrome. The Fructosamine test results may be compromised due to other factors such as:

Thyroid disease.
– Liver diseases.
– The vitamin C levels are high in the blood.
– Renal disease.

What are the advantages of Fructosamine test over Hemoglobin A1c or HbA1c test?

The Fructosamine test though not widely used has been proved to be a more cost-effective and simpler approach than HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin test in calculating blood glucose. Furthermore, the HbA1c though widely recognized can be unreliable for patients who are suffering from:

– Renal diseases.
– Patients who are vulnerable to glucose homeostasis.
– Patients with red blood cell disorder.
– Diabetic pregnancy.
– Blood loss.
Sickle cell anemia.

Another advantage of the Fructosamine test over HbA1c is that it reports the recent changes in blood glucose levels for 2 to 3 weeks. The HbA1c test can be repeated over a timeframe of a minimum of 3 months and helps control long-term diabetes mellitus. So, if you are a diabetic patient and are looking for adjusting your diabetic regimen, the Fructosamine test might be helpful.


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