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Test ID: NEFA Free Fatty Acids, Total, Serum

Reporting Name

Free Fatty Acids, Total, S

Useful For

Evaluation of metabolic status of patients with endocrinopathies 


Monitoring of control of diabetes mellitus.


Monitoring the effects of therapeutic diet/exercise lifestyle changes

Clinical Information

Elevated serum concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) are associated with cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. NEFA are causally linked with insulin resistance and inflammation of vascular endothelium.


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 adrenocorticotropin.

Report Available

1 to 3 days

Day(s) Performed

Monday through Friday

Clinical Reference

1. Boden G: Obesity and free fatty acids. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2008 Sep;37(3):635-646, viii-ix. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2008.06.007

2. Haus JM, Soloman TP, Marchetti CM, Edmison JM, Gonzalez F, Kirwan JP: Free fatty acid-induced hepatic insulin resistance is attenuated following lifestyle intervention in obese individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Jan;95(1):323-327. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-1101

3..Imrie H, Abbas A, Kearney M: Insulin resistance, lipotoxicity and endothelial dysfunction. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Mar;1801 (3):320-326. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.09.025

Method Name

Enzymatic Colorimetric

Specimen Type


Specimen Required

Patient Preparation:

1. Fasting-overnight (12-14 hours).

2. Patient must not consume any alcohol for 24 hours before the specimen is collected.

3. Patient should not be receiving therapeutic heparin.

Collection Container/Tube: 

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Centrifuge within 45 minutes of collection and aliquot 1 mL of serum into a plastic vial.

2. Immediately freeze specimen.

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.5 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Frozen 7 days

Reference Values

≥18 years: 0.00-0.72 mmol/L

Reference values have not been established for patients who are <18 years of age.

Test Classification

This test has been cleared, approved, or is exempt by the US Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
NEFA Free Fatty Acids, Total, S 15066-4


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
NEFA Free Fatty Acids, Total, S 15066-4


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Cardiovascular Test Request Form (T724) with the specimen.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Endocrinology Catalog Additional Information: