This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Protocol for the Schilling test

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Schilling's test assesses the absorption of vitamin B12.

Following an overnight fast, the patient is first injected intramuscularly with non-labelled vitamin B12, sufficient to saturate the body's stores. This is followed by oral doses of vitamin B12 labelled with cobalt-58, and a second dose labelled with cobalt-57 bound to intrinsic factor.

Prior saturation body stores ensures that the radio-labelled vitamin B12 is absorbed and rapidly excreted in the urine. Malabsorption is indicated if less than 10% is excreted in 24 hours.

Malabsorption of vitamin B12 due to pernicious anaemia is indicated by an elevated ratio of Co-57 to Co-58; mean 3.5, range, 1.2-9.5. The ratio is near unity in patients with ileal disease.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Annotations allow you to add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation. E.g. a website or number. This information will always show when you visit this page.