At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
When to Get Tested?
If you are diabetic and your doctor wants to measure your average blood glucose level over the last 2-3 weeks
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or sometimes from a fingerstick
The Test Sample
What is being tested?
The fructosamine test is a measurement of glycated protein. When glucose levels in the blood are elevated over a period of time, glucose molecules permanently combine with haemoglobin found inside the red blood cells (RBCs) and with albumin and other serum proteins - a process called glycation. The more glucose that is present, the greater the amount of glycated haemoglobin and glycated protein formed. These combined molecules persist for the life of the RBC or the protein and provide a record of the average amount of glucose that has been present in the blood over that time period. Since RBCs live for about 120 days, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) reveals average blood glucose levels over the past 2 to 3 months. Serum proteins have a shorter lifespan, about 14 to 21 days, so glycated proteins reflect average glucose levels over a 2 to 3 week time period.
Keeping blood glucose levels as close as possible to normal allows diabetic patients to avoid many of the complications and progressive damage associated with elevated glucose levels. Good diabetic control is achieved and maintained by daily (or even more frequent) self-monitoring of glucose levels and by occasional monitoring of the effectiveness of treatment using either a fructosamine or HbA1c test.
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm or from a fingerstick.
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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.