Targeted Metabolomics Services

Choline, total

Updated 20/12/2022

What is measured?

Total choline esters (as opposed to free choline), after liberation of choline from phospholipids (mainly phosphatidylcholine) in the presence of phospholipase D (PLD) and calcium. The concentrations of the other metabolites in serum/plasma obtained from platform C are not affected by PLD treatment, and are simultaneously measured by this modified assay.
Method(s): LC-MS/MS. (1).


Assessment of one-carbon status. Choline deficiency.

Specimen, collection and processing

Patient/subject: Prandial status affects the concentration, which increases after a meal. The subjects should be fasting.
Matrix: Serum or plasma. Total choline concentration (as opposed to the concentration of free choline) is not affected by the preanalytical conversion of phospholipids to free choline in serum.
Volume: Minimum volume is 50 µL, but 200 µL is optimal and allows reanalysis.
Preparation and stability: Stable in frozen stored serum/plasma for years.


Frozen, on dry ice. (for general instruction on transportation, click here)

Reported values

Reported values: 2-3 mmol/L.
Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC): na.
Method: LC-MS/MS.


1. Midttun, O., Kvalheim, G., and Ueland, P.M. (2013). High-throughput, low-volume, multianalyte quantification of plasma metabolites related to one-carbon metabolism using HPLC-MS/MS. Anal Bioanal Chem 405, 2009-017

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