Role of functional biomarkers to identify early vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with sleeve gastrectomy: A cross-sectional study

Osama Y. Al-Dirbashi, Charu Sharma, Nahid Al Dahouri, Anas Al Aidaros, Shamma Al-Muhairi, Rami Beiram, Salah Gariballa, Juma Al Kaabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives: Although laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is effective for obesity management, postoperative vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency is of major concern. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed the levels of B12 and its related functional biomarkers, namely, total homocysteine (tHcy), methylmalonic acid (MMA), folate, methylcitric acid (MCA), and hemoglobin (Hb), in one-year postoperative LSG patients and matched controls. Materials and Methods: Plasma B12, tHcy, MMA, folate, and MCA were measured in matched controls (n = 66) and patients (n = 71) using validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry techniques and protocols in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Results: The median B12 concentration in patients (177 pmol/L) was significantly lower (p < 0.001) than in the controls (334.7 pmol/L). The tHcy and MMA levels were significantly increased (p < 0.001 and p = 0.011, respectively) and folate levels were significantly decreased (p = 0.001) in the LSG patients compared to the controls. Interestingly, no significant difference in MCA levels were observed between the two groups. The levels of tHcy and MMA were concomitantly increased with the decreased folate levels in postoperative LSG patients when compared with the controls. The Hb levels were significantly lower in males and females in the patient group compared with those in the control group, respectively (p = 0.005 and p = 0.043). Conclusions: This is the first report of serum levels of B12 and its functional biomarkers in postoperative LSG patients among a local population from the UAE. Our findings revealed significant alterations of the B12 biomarkers, total B12, MMA, and tHcy in one-year postoperative LSG patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number142
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Homocysteine
  • Methylcitric acid
  • Methylmalonic acid
  • UAE
  • Vitamin B12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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